Business Growth Ideas for CT Manufacturers – Part 6: Flexible, Cross-Trained Workforce

February 12, 2018

by Mark Paggioli

In this blog post, we look at ways that you can reduce the impact of the skilled worker shortage and expand the capabilities of your employees.

Despite the challenges associated with a tight labor market, there are things to consider that can help you minimize the impact of this people shortage. After all, you still need to meet customer demand, ship products and invoice your customers.

Have you looked at how a flexible, cross-trained workforce can help your business become more responsive while engaging employees? If you haven’t created a cross-trained organization yet, the timing couldn’t be better. Cross-training gives you an opportunity to pair up the next generation employees with some of those Baby Boomers who will be retiring in the next few years.

It is an excellent way to expand the capabilities of your employees and to give them a broader view of the business, ultimately positioning them for promotions while the business becomes more productive and allowing you to staff more strategically. Team members become more capable of dealing with the daily ups and downs in demand and are better able to handle those days when other team members are out sick, on vacation or dealing with an emergency.

And if your industry faces seasonal peaks and valleys that has you hiring and then letting people go when it slows down or relying on temps, cross-training is something you should really consider. This type of approach can be extremely powerful when paired up with a team-based culture and some specific Lean tools … to the point where I have seen sales doubled without adding a single person to production and providing a real sense of pride in the team’s ability to improve metrics while pulling it off.

Cross-training employees has many benefits, both to the company and the workers themselves. It’s a win-win situation that can improve your business and better engage your employees.

In our next blog post, Part 7: Vision and The Business Owner  of our Business Growth series, we look at the importance of creating a vision for your business and sharing it with all of your employees for everyone to experience.



Part 1: Products of our Business Growth series

Part 2: Markets of our Business Growth series

Part 3: Pricing of our Business Growth series

Part 4: People of our Business Growth series

Part 5: Technology of our Business Growth series

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CEO, Pegasus Manufacturing Inc.

“I see great value in the new experiences and perspectives CONNSTEP brings to our business, at reasonable prices. They’re not like consultants, they’re like partners in the business – willing to roll up their sleeves and help.”

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Mark Burzynski

President, Arthur G Russell Co

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Ron Delfini

President, Engineering Specialties Inc.

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Manager, Fuel Cell Energy

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VP Manufacturing Operations, Hologic

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General Manager, Tornik LLC

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Bill Lathrop

President, Colonial Spring Co.

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