PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Feb2020

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26 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 trained with pay for a full year before join- ing the assembly line. Once thoroughly vet- ted and trained, operators have the avenue to move up through the ranks to become manag- ers. Among the factory managers with whom I spoke, none of them had college-level training; their education was solely completed through intracompany training. As an added bonus, the longevity and loyalty of this workforce are im- pressive, but more on that in Lesson 3. This model, used in some Japanese companies as well as others in Europe, underscores the point that we can find talent by embracing workers with little to no experience—but with industry passion—to build the worker pipeline. That is where the next key lesson comes in. Lesson 2: Career progression is important to workers. Hiring is the first step, but companies need to keep thinking of new ways to keep employ- ees engaged and motivated by prioritizing both their personal and professional growth. Job se- curity and location to home remain pillars for workers within the industry. However, with a younger generation entering the workforce, convenience isn't enough to retain workers. Workers want to know they have a career path they can build in their companies. In Thailand, operators who lack a college ed- ucation, along with management staff from top schools, can grow within their roles and con- tinuously be promoted. The job culture there exposes workers early on to self-improvement paths that help them attain specific knowledge or capabilities. Having this type of transpar- ency helps create trust among employees and companies, where the workers invest in the companies and the companies invest in the workers (Figure 1). During my latest trip, I spoke with college- educated engineers who expressed apprecia- tion for their companies' focus on personal growth. One manager emphasized that it was during his time as a quality engineer that he learned how to meet his goals and prioritize learning additional skill areas, allowing him to become a senior production manager. Lesson 3: Worker retention relies on effective workplace communication to maintain worker happiness. As I engage with workers and management, I'm always reminded that companies address Figure 1: Visiting Fabrinet in Thailand, John Mitchell, along with Phil Carmichael, president of IPC AP, viewed activities on the factory floor and met with staff members to discuss career progression, collaborative problem-solving, and opportunities available for new employees.

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