Long-Term Employees Mean Long-Term Profits
Occasionally, Vulcan Information Packaging has a prospective customer visit our manufacturing plant in Vincent, Ala. As we escort each visitor through our facility, conversation always turns to our people. I am always proud to discuss our 40 employees with more than 20 years of service at our company. All general managers or plant managers, at one time, have noted the value of knowledge available in their long-term employees, but today’s business world can make it easy to forget.
Managers should consider the following three benefits of retaining employees:
• Long-term employees have a strong knowledge base. Being an industry leader requires a structure of knowledge and directive that builds over time. Long-term
employees are experts in manufacturing techniques, materials and production procedures. When managers incorporate this knowledge into their daily operations, productivity increases and success becomes a routine part of business.
• Long-term employees pass down their skills to new employees. When problems arise, long-term
employees most likely have seen those same problems in the past and know exactly how to overcome them quickly, without slowing down production. In turn, waste, errors and spoilage are kept to manageable levels. This “veteran employee” skill is invaluable in a manufacturing environment, especially when it can benefit new employees still green to the ways of the business.
• Long-term employees add stability to the workforce and build morale. Long-term employees show newer employees that the company has a good working environment; if it didn’t, they would have found employment elsewhere. In addition, happy, long-term employees show coworkers that a job can turn into a career, and as a result, these employees often have a vested interest in the company’s success.
What are you doing to ensure that your new employees turn into long-term employees? What kind of working environment are you creating for them? How can you build confidence with all employees, both new and seasoned? Addressing such questions will increase productivity, grow business and raise confidence with customers.