What progress do you expect from your new guys?
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    Default What progress do you expect from your new guys?

    What kind of progress do you expect from new operators at the below specified intervals? We were doing training every Friday but things started getting so busy that we haven't been able to do that for several months.

    I learn very quickly and I'm told by people close to me that I expect too much of others that just can't grasp things as fast. While we haven't been doing formal training, I will sometimes call over some that are weaker and have them watch or have them show how to do a basic task like setting a tool or probing a part. I recently had to move my most experienced/sharpest man to another area and some of the skill deficiencies are starting to really show.

    So, let's take an operator that spends on average 20 hours a week at two mills. Both the same model with more or less the same control. Say he started with no machining experience.

    What CNC mill skills should that guy have picked up by 3 months on the job?
    Six months?
    9 months?
    A year?

    For instance, is it "expecting too much" for the above described employee to be able to set a tool or similar duties without going to get help at six months in?

    Thanks

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    I'm in a similar boat, and wondering the same things. I hope this turns into a good thread and we both learn from the more experienced managers here.

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    I I have found that there are a few types of people.

    1) those that just want a paycheck and don't care about the job and progressing past what they had to learn to get the job and keep it.

    2) folks that love the job and want to learn everything about it....treating it like a hobby they get paid for

    3) folks that just don't get it, don't care to learn and don't care to keep the job.

    Type 1, I set the bar higher for them. We have a bunch like this and they all get the same talk... We need you to learn more and do these tasks faster, here is a $ 0.10-2.00 raise for the next 60 days. Perform like we expect on these tasks and the raise is yours to keep.

    I've found that giving the raise before the skill with the potential for it to be removed usually fires someone up more than a promise of a raise. Works for us....might not work for you.

    Type 2, I let this type have free reign for the most part and let them learn what they want as long as their workload is completed. YouTube is encouraged as long as it's "learning" about the industry..while at a machine.

    Type 3 is the one you just have to let go.



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    20 years ago the average high school grad with some basic math skills was light years ahead of what we were seeing in the last few years and I think it has to do with how these folks let the kids raise themselves. My last 5 years included a lot of trying to teach 3rd grade math to adults, trying to teach them to follow instructions and take notes, we gave up thinking that most of those that were qualified likely had their own shop, though here in Idaho ( we are mostly moved from California ), we are seeing many folks that seem more interesting, so we may try again.

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    My situation is almost certainly different, but if I put a guy on the cnc he (we) did the program together, set the tools together, comped together. Made fixtures together. By the 3rd job if they have a question I _hope_ it's intelligent. Totally understand if they're still apprehensive, but looking for smart. I got one machine and if it's down I gotta get out the kitchenaid and make cookies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post

    Type 1, I set the bar higher for them. We have a bunch like this and they all get the same talk... We need you to learn more and do these tasks faster, here is a $ 0.10-2.00 raise for the next 60 days. Perform like we expect on these tasks and the raise is yours to keep.

    I've found that giving the raise before the skill with the potential for it to be removed usually fires someone up more than a promise of a raise. Works for us....might not work for you.
    That is the first time I ever heard anyone doing that. Have you ever taken the raise back and if you did how did that go over? I was always from the school of thought that it is best to fire someone than demote them of a job title or cut their pay.

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    As for the OP's question that is kind of tough to answer without knowing the particulars of the work place. Some environments are great for learning, others the exact opposite. The last place I worked for the man over 25 years ago had a machining center department where no one could learn a damn thing. They had a programmer and three set-up guys. The rest were just low level operators. They loaded vises and fixtures then hit the green button. They were told what features to check at the machine, and if something was out of tolerance they called the set-up guys over. They were only allowed to check simple features you could inspect with gauge pins, thread gauges and calipers. The rest was done by the guys in inspection. Back in the time and place I came from they would be considered Class C operators. If you wanted to learn and move up from there it was not happening in that department.
    That is how the mill foreman decided to run his side of the shop. On my lathe side I did everything totally different. You were allowed to learn as fast as you could progress.
    Last edited by Dualkit; 05-06-2020 at 07:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    That is the first time I ever heard anyone doing that. Have you ever taken the raise back and if you did how did that go over? I was always from the school of thought that it is best to fire someone than demote them of a job title or cut their pay.
    We have taken it back, sometimes all, sometimes just a little, half, etc. Everything is spelled out in the contract for the raise the employee signs and we have metrics in place to prove they do or don't keep their end of the deal.

    There are some folks that will ask for more time or another contract and articulate why the goal couldn't be met ( more often, they do this before the review) we always give more time, extra two pay periods minimum.

    I'd agree with the best to fire than demote but in this instance, we aren't demoting. We gave an opportunity for more money to enhance a task that wasn't completed within the agreed time frame. That said the dynamic here is different than any shop I've worked at and for good reason.

    People get over the butt hurt if there is any because of all the other perks of the job...great 100% company paid benefits, option for a personal loan interest free for 1 year, etc.

    The way we do it may not work for your shop. Same can be said with all advice from here.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    I I have found that there are a few types of people.

    1) those that just want a paycheck and don't care about the job and progressing past what they had to learn to get the job and keep it.

    2) folks that love the job and want to learn everything about it....treating it like a hobby they get paid for

    3) folks that just don't get it, don't care to learn and don't care to keep the job.

    Type 1, I set the bar higher for them. We have a bunch like this and they all get the same talk... We need you to learn more and do these tasks faster, here is a $ 0.10-2.00 raise for the next 60 days. Perform like we expect on these tasks and the raise is yours to keep.

    I've found that giving the raise before the skill with the potential for it to be removed usually fires someone up more than a promise of a raise. Works for us....might not work for you.

    Type 2, I let this type have free reign for the most part and let them learn what they want as long as their workload is completed. YouTube is encouraged as long as it's "learning" about the industry..while at a machine.

    Type 3 is the one you just have to let go.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    I think there is a twist on the types: A guy who wants to learn and is a go getter but just can't grasp it. One in particular, and the main reason I made this post, asks for more instruction and more practice when he fails to demonstrate something. I can put him on any task and he'll do his best and hustle on getting it done, but he'll also stare blankly at the screen when you tell him to clear the tool in the spindle.

    Where do you expect new guys to be skill-wise in your particular shop at the given intervals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    That is the first time I ever heard anyone doing that. Have you ever taken the raise back and if you did how did that go over? I was always from the school of thought that it is best to fire someone than demote them of a job title or cut their pay.
    There certainly is a time and place to fire someone rather than demote them. But sometimes that policy can also hold people back from taking chances.
    I have worked with people who achieve a "stretch goal" for their abilities and typically they end up being good producers and satisfied with their positions. Some people end up comfortable and are unwilling to take a chance on a stretch position if they believe there are only 2 possibilities.....succeed at the new position or look for a new job.
    Just my .02

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRobs86 View Post
    I think there is a twist on the types: A guy who wants to learn and is a go getter but just can't grasp it. One in particular, and the main reason I made this post, asks for more instruction and more practice when he fails to demonstrate something. I can put him on any task and he'll do his best and hustle on getting it done, but he'll also stare blankly at the screen when you tell him to clear the tool in the spindle.

    Where do you expect new guys to be skill-wise in your particular shop at the given intervals?

    Not everyone has the same mental capacity therefore I don't hold everyone to the same standard. Given how hard it is to find someone remotely decent I put up with more than I maybe would have used to. I'll take someone that's a little dumb and I'll take someone that's a little lazy but not someone who's both. I have an operator that's been doing this for twenty some years that struggles to adjust offsets, every time I try to explain something to him for the tenth time it's like it's his first time hearing it. But he is a model employee and doesn't mind mundane tasks, so it is what it is we can keep him busy. I also have a guy that's been doing this for six months that is a little too chatty but he read the machine manual cover to cover and retained a large percentage of it. He does set ups with little guidance and is already writing some simple programs. Touching off tools and what not should be obtainable within a few weeks, but I've also spent that long teaching someone to read a tape measure, so idk I guess some people were meant to pour coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRobs86 View Post
    I think there is a twist on the types: A guy who wants to learn and is a go getter but just can't grasp it. One in particular, and the main reason I made this post, asks for more instruction and more practice when he fails to demonstrate something. I can put him on any task and he'll do his best and hustle on getting it done, but he'll also stare blankly at the screen when you tell him to clear the tool in the spindle.

    Where do you expect new guys to be skill-wise in your particular shop at the given intervals?
    It's tough to say because I don't know what you hired him for and what your own personal expectations are.

    I'd say a year to grasp setting tools and work offsets if they are super green. It's a lot of info to soak in for most people.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Get them a notebook and make them write stuff down. Review the notes so you know it makes sense. I find just having people write things down helps them remember. Then if they don't remember, they know where to go to get the answer. For most things you shouldn't have to show them more than a couple times. Granted, if they're coming in with no experience this changes things a bit because there is so much to learn. But making them take notes will still help.

    If a guy can't set a tool after 3 months on the job, there's bigger issues at hand.

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    Ditto on the notebook, I tell people their first week to get one and it does help. Sure for the $1 we could provide the notebook but it helps weed out those that just don't give a shit. Had a guy that after 3 months couldn't be bothered to get a notebook, couldn't set tools either. Didn't last much longer than that. The notebook wasn't the driving force to that but it was indicative of his attitude towards the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRobs86 View Post
    I learn very quickly and I'm told by people close to me that I expect too much of others that just can't grasp things as fast. While we haven't been doing formal training, I will sometimes call over some that are weaker and have them watch or have them show how to do a basic task like setting a tool or probing a part. I recently had to move my most experienced/sharpest man to another area and some of the skill deficiencies are starting to really show.
    Just a note on that, I and most others I have taught learn almost nothing by being shown something other than it is possible to do. If I am teaching someone how to do something, I show them once or twice then undo everything I have done and make them do it. Usually with my hands clasp behind my back so I don't try to do some part of it for them when they are taking way longer than I would.

    I have a friend that insist he is a great teacher because he always wants to show people how to do stuff and pass on what he knows. The problem is he can't stand something taking longer than it would take him. So inevitably he shoulders the "student" out of the way and says "see this is how you do it". He then complains that "kids these days just don't want to learn and won't listen to anyone".

    This may not be an issue for you, but I thought I would mention it.

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    One thing to keep in mind about the really bright guys: they need a challenge.
    If you're going to pay them $12/hr. to load parts they will find a different job.

    I have talked with way too many people that were grossly under-utilized and under-paid.
    If your new guys start out as operators and are responsible and quick to learn,
    teach them setup and don't be afraid to let them do a job alone if you feel they are capable.
    Those kinds of people are the ones that make excellent programmers and engineers
    down the road because they have a lot of hands-on experience.

    Just my $0.02.

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    Bingo! This is exactly why we offer a raise ahead of the skillset to challenge them and let them know we value the effort they put into the challenge and value them more if they can complete the challenge successfully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ H View Post
    Not everyone has the same mental capacity therefore I don't hold everyone to the same standard. Given how hard it is to find someone remotely decent I put up with more than I maybe would have used to. I'll take someone that's a little dumb and I'll take someone that's a little lazy but not someone who's both. I have an operator that's been doing this for twenty some years that struggles to adjust offsets, every time I try to explain something to him for the tenth time it's like it's his first time hearing it. But he is a model employee and doesn't mind mundane tasks, so it is what it is we can keep him busy. I also have a guy that's been doing this for six months that is a little too chatty but he read the machine manual cover to cover and retained a large percentage of it. He does set ups with little guidance and is already writing some simple programs. Touching off tools and what not should be obtainable within a few weeks, but I've also spent that long teaching someone to read a tape measure, so idk I guess some people were meant to pour coffee.

    "so idk I guess some people were meant to pour coffee."

    My wife and noticed a few years back that when we went out to dinner here and there it now takes 4 - 6 people to do the job a waitress used to do by herself. Now they all share tips and no one person can be expected to seat you, bring you a drink, take your order, refill your drink and bring you a check. We are supprised when we see a good waitress any more. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by people who can't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the heel, how did this happen?

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