Workforce Strategies to Help You Elevate Your Business

February 24, 2017

by Linda Colon

In our competitive business climate, Connecticut’s manufacturers are looking for ways to bolster future business by ensuring continuity of their company operations and retaining and developing talent. Recognizing this need, we recently hosted a dual-session, workforce strategies workshop. It was led by industry expert Kelly McDaniel, president of the DeLisa Group, and attended by more than 30 manufacturing business owners and senior leaders.

Workforce Strategies

In the first session, Succession Planning, McDaniel emphasized the importance of examining a company’s current state and creating a future one for their business. A key process involves identifying vulnerabilities in a company’s organizational chart and developing an action plan to address potential job function gaps which may impact business operations.

This may include:

  • Identify employees who anticipate retiring within the next few years;
  • Look at employees with tribal knowledge (not easily transferrable); and
  • Review employee performance – promoting or terminating as needed. Doing so will impact business by creating position vacancies.

McDaniel’s second session focused on Attracting and Retaining Valuable Employees. She cited the tight labor market while emphasizing that candidates are looking for companies that have vision and can talk to their purpose and mission. It’s critical to be mindful that job seekers want to be part of an organization that is going somewhere.

Additionally, McDaniel highlighted the value of companies that have a good culture and work environment in order to attract – and keep – employees. She addressed the mindsets of various generations including baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z candidates, who are beginning to enter the workforce and clarified their expectations in the workplace and how they differ from one another.

Workforce Strategies Generations

She stressed the importance of preparing the next level of employees for the shift of boomers exiting the workforce and as a means of addressing the inevitable skills gap. Prioritizing training among employees in order to preserve industry knowledge was a common theme as a means to continuing the momentum of success within organizations.

Adding these strategies to your overall recruitment and retention efforts makes for a stronger leadership team that helps you with decision making, role planning and fulfillment. Some additional insight to add to your strategy comes from Bonnie Spencer Swayze, President and CEO of Alliance Rubber Co. featured in this Industry Week article. She emphasizes teamwork and collaboration along with the need for flexibility to help drive home the importance of sharing the decision-making burden. She supports cross-training to address shifting roles within the company as employees rise through the ranks and also advocates creating a positive and helpful work environment in order to have employees feel more comfortable and confident in their roles.

We’ll continue the business of sharing insight on planning for your company’s future in our upcoming blogs. As always, we invite you to comment and share our blog posts.

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CT manufacturer Pegaasus

Chris DePentima

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

“CONNSTEP has proved to be a tremendous resource for ESI. CONNSTEP has helped us to adapt to today’s marketplace and remain a quality minded, competitive global player. Our ISO/TS16949 implementation process was efficient and rewarding. I look forward to our future projects with CONNSTEP.”

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Ron Delfini

President, Engineering Specialties Inc.

“CONNSTEP worked with FuelCell Energy to educate and facilitate Lean initiatives and to help meet our needs to establish an overall production improvement plan. This plan has been utilized over a period of time as a ‘guiding light’ to spur numerous improvements that dramatically reduced our product cost.”

Tom Lucas

Manager, Fuel Cell Energy

“CONNSTEP is a valuable partner to Hologic, providing the expertise and ‘outside eyes’ everyone needs to keep their continuous improvement on track. We are now well-positioned on a dynamic growth path and look forward to a long-term relationship with CONNSTEP.”

Greg Safarik

VP Manufacturing Operations, Hologic

“Our experience working with CONNSTEP has brought us benefits we never expected. It’s a great team to work with!”

Bruce Wheeler

VP of Operations, Metal Finishing Technologies Inc.

“The goals of the team were to reduce manufacturing lead-time, reduce floor space utilized, and increase worker productivity. All the goals were met. CONNSTEP helped us to better compete.”

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Dan Rubbo

General Manager, Tornik LLC

“The Business Growth Program is working well for us. We enhanced our website following the meetings to improve our SEO and become more visible to search engines. The segment on negotiating …  promoted changes in our thinking and improved how we interact with customers. The mentoring between sessions was helpful in boosting our progress.”

CT manufacturer Colonial Spring

Bill Lathrop

President, Colonial Spring Co.

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