You can feel the excitement as soon as you walk in the door – in fact there’s a great big welcoming sign for EMC Networking Participants on the monitor and an enthusiastic Team from all facets of the business greeting you warmly, engaging in dialogue and ready to share their experiences and success! This Special Food Sector Event was all about continuous improvement projects, supervisory skill development, leadership, culture and people empowerment – all of which truly flourished for our Host TMF Foods Ltd. when they decided to train their Supervisors through the Canadian Manufacturing Network Harvard Supervisory Certificate Program.
The President of TMF Foods Ltd., Dan Davies, shared his thoughts with respect to why a company might consider training of this nature and the subsequent impact that it has had on his company. His words really hit home and then home again as each Team of Supervisors shared their personal thoughts and perspectives on what it meant to have training of this nature to them those benefits being:
- Learning and enhancing skills around leadership, mentoring and coaching
- Dealing effectively with difficult interactions
- Empowering, engaging, motivating and encouraging others
- Enhancing problem solving abilities
- Becoming more efficient
- Development of people in general
- Understanding and applying knowledge
- Thinking differently and looking at more CI opportunities
- Post Sanitation During Changeovers
- Defrost Capacity and Efficiency Increase Project
- New Product Launch Process
The Supervisors mentioned as well that they thought:
- Interaction on the portal was excellent
- Seeing people outside of their normal roles fosters better relationships – get to know each other and care about people more and business gets stronger
- They were all extremely proud of the fact that their Company provides them which such an opportunity to grow – and growing gets them excited, motivates others and subsequently generates some wonderful CI ideas and opportunities to explore.
So, what might a prospective student of the CMN Harvard Supervisory Program expect? With the next intake just around the corner and scheduled for January 23rd, 2017, JP Giroux, Director of Human Capital, CMN, provided us with an excellent overview of the program and expectations:
- Time commitment of 1-2 hours (pre-reading assignments)
- Weekly 1 hour conference call with JP or SME
- Applying learning starts right away
- There are a series of case studies to review and follow up discussion during the conference calls
- In total = 3 hours/week for 10 weeks
- Work place performance project (30 hours)
- Webinar (30 hours)
- In total = 50-60 hours over a 10-week period
JP mentioned that Participants truly get out of the training what they put into it. One has to be motivated to get better. The resources, subject matter experts and methodical references are all provided. Harvard Business supports this program as well through best practices on leadership and team building. At the end of the training, Supervisors are equipped to present their projects to their Teams and Senior Management.
TMF Foods Ltd. is doing their best in-house to raise the standards. It’s important to measure what you are going to do to gain insight on where further improvements can be made or where additional challenges may lie for other parts of the organization. Measuring leads to less confusion and frustration and builds a better understanding of the challenge at hand and this lends to a more positive and engaged morale.
We also talked about language requirements for a program of this nature. JP suggested that understanding basic English was important – reading, listening, talking.TMF makes an investment in their people and views having basic skills in this regard as important to their development as Leaders so they have offered to cover costs for ESL programs where employees can participate in increasing and improving their language skills 4/5 times per week. This has really developed their confidence in becoming better leaders.
JP mentioned that over 300 people have now been certified through the CMN Harvard Supervisory Program. The Program was originally designed for Team Leads in 2009 but over time other Supervisors and Management have engaged in program. Generally speaking, they look for 25 Supervisors from 10-12 companies (2 to 3 individuals per plant). Support from every level would be awesome and this is something that TMF Foods Ltd. has excelled at. It was mentioned that most of the time our Supervisors don’t work or talk to each other and this also happens in engineering, purchasing, marketing, production and so forth. To effectively manage a CI initiative, you need to be a project manager of sorts, keeping the focus and delivering something at the end. Dan admits it’s a considerable investment for a company in both cost and time. For TMF, they recouped this purely in the development of their people’s passion and the depth of the projects they routed out and real root cause issues they were able to define.
Companies are working on genuine plant issues (which is a considerable differentiator from other programs). The value that comes from exposure to other companies on how problems are viewed and approached is priceless. It’s a structured program with a very descriptive project as well and everyone follows the same path. Company’s involved want their Supervisors to be more leader oriented.
There are also many simulations and videos throughout the program and just as an example, JP played one that looked specifically at how to deliver a difficult message (including elements such as setting a positive frame, treating others with respect, and normalizing the relationship). Most Supervisors do not know how to talk to people or present a business case.
Next intake for CMN Harvard Supervisory Certificate Program – January 23rd, 2017 – March 2017
Manufacturing Essentials: JP then shared information on the development of a new program called Manufacturing Essentials for Production Workers that will be offered in 2017. This will be a facilitated led opportunity that will focus on basic skill sets including literacy issues (reading, writing), basic math, lean methodologies and all combined with a project.
- Wages and benefits
- Vacancy rates
- Skills and shortages
- Training and development
This is ongoing fresh data that gives you real-time LMI information including averages, starting wages, and predictions for the next year. To learn more about the this wonderful survey, please click on the following link: ManufacturingGPS Video
- Changes attitude/senior management commitment
- Follow up on CMN – will there be a continuation of the program?
- Short-track programs – 4 weeks
- Leadership challenges and opportunities
- Have to get past – better, faster, cheaper
- Engagement is one of the biggest problems in manufacturing – project gives them a purposes – they are changing something in a time frame – mobilizes people
- If you ask them to do the same thing every day – people dis-engage – giving latitude to try things
- Challenges of managing when on continental shifts with leaders and potential leaders – do from home
- Champion – phone/access to learning plan/approve project/presentation and final workshop
- Literacy – how to use documents and how to get a message out of the document
- Project management
- Internal programs to develop new leaders – 8 weeks – pilot program for Supervisors currently at the evaluation stage – projects based/online – flexibility
- How do you keep the passion?
Very special thanks to our Host – TMF Foods Ltd. – and their entire Team for such a warm welcome and engaged presentation – and JP from CMN – Canadian Manufacturing Network for sharing his thoughts, enthusiasm and expertise with us and to all of our participants for joining us!!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - bdeleeuw .org - 519-372-6009
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