Your House, Your Rules
How can you be sure that you are getting what you want unless you do it yourself?
David Mantey, Editor, Product Design & Development
It's your house, don't you think you should make sure that everyone is playing by your rules? -David Mantey
In this segment, our editors square off on timely issues relating to industrial maintenance and plant operation. The editorial staff would like to stress that we are not intending to specifically endorse any one viewpoint, however our intent is only to encourage dialogue by showing a point-counter-point on contentious issues.
When it comes to in-house training, it will be difficult to build a training program  from the ground up. That being said, once you have a sustained and proven system customized to your company philosophy, you will not only ensure that the workers who graduate the program are knowledgeable in all the physical skills crucial to your operation, but they also will adapt the company philosophy.
It is one thing to have a skilled worker who does his own thing and gets the job done. It’s quite different when the worker does a good job and works as a part of the team to make each person a more valuable asset. (I’m just not sure that enough stock is put into creating an environment that workers enjoy entering on a daily basis.) Like the expensive hardware found on your shop floors, the staff is a machine—toss a bad part in there and quality, quantity, production, and profitability all take a nosedive.
Create specific skill standards. Your company is the school; the training program is your curriculum. If you hire a third party, they’ll teach “the gist,” highlighting necessary operations while possibly dimming the light on processes you hold in high accord. Sure it sounds like a tall order for the beginning as you construct a never-ending opus of a training manual, which defines step-by-step instructions for everything down to the third shift cleaning crew. It will be a fluid document; it’ll be your company’s bible with several expected new testaments. But once that manual is donned upon the management library, it will give you the confidence and control over everything that happens within those concrete confines — with an added bit of personal responsibility.
When you keep training in-house, you maintain control over content. It’s your house, don’t you think you should make sure that everyone is playing by your rules?
Comments? Email IMPO Editor, Anna Wells: firstname.lastname@example.org. 
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