The Manufacturing Advancement Center

About MAC
The MAC Action Newsline
Manufacturing our Summit
Upcoming Programs
Resource Library
Contact Us

Send a Letter
to the Editor

Workforce Development

Advanced Talent Management: Why Do I Need It?

By: Leslie Parady, MassMEP Project Manager

Do an Internet search of “Advanced Talent Management” and you will discover that there are a number of definitions.

Advanced Talent Management is an approach to attracting, developing and retaining people to meet current and future organizational needs. It links Human Resources and management initiatives. It is part of a company’s overall strategic plan.

As the manufacturing workforce ages and the skills gap widens, Advanced Talent Management has gained increased attention. An internet search of the phrase returns a number of articles and books available for further study.

How do you know if you need to “manage your talent”? Ask your HR department the following questions:

  1. Which segment of our workforce creates the most value?
  2. Which departments will be most impacted by impending retirements? When will these retirements occur?
  3. What positions are the hardest to fill? What are the top and bottom line implications of the vacancies?
  4. What skills do we need that we do not currently possess?
  5. What is our turnover rate in critical areas? What is the direct and indirect cost of that turnover? In productivity? In quality?
  6. Do we have a plan to address the financial consequences of talent loss on our business?

If you don’t have the answers to these questions then the first step is to identify the employees and positions that are critical to your business. And where you are most vulnerable. This is often, but not necessarily, your senior staff.  

Critical Skills Assessment

MassMEP has developed a Critical Skill Assessment that, with limited information, can assess a number of different operational areas and provide strategies to mitigate challenges relating to potential skills shortages in key function areas and assessing the impact of an aging workforce on your organization. Most importantly, it links the development and/or modification of training and development programs to key performance indicators. Side by side, a company can see the cost of implementing a workforce development system and the cost of NOT implementing a workforce development system.

A MassMEP client recently implemented the recommendations developed as a result of completing the Critical Skills Assessment. They needed to create a skills transfer program to address their aging workforce and skills gaps issues. Entry level employees received basic manufacturing skills training and senior workers (both in tenure and age) received Train the Trainer instruction on how to be a good trainer. A methodology to rapidly transfer knowledge was taught in a 10 hour workshop. After one month…one month…, the company reported a $30,000 reduction in scrap.

As business has picked up over the past few months they have slipped back into “the way we have always done it” mode. Their rationale was that they were too busy to focus on training because they were making parts. Unfortunately, that leaves them with new personnel who are inadequately trained. They are making lots of parts. Lots of bad parts.  About $30,000 per month.

Recently they hired and subsequently lost two new employees. They were particularly interested in what one gentleman could bring to their organization long term and held an in-depth exit interview prior to his departure. The reason he was leaving: the company didn’t provide training and left him on his own, expecting production of quality parts.

Employer Readiness for Workforce Changes

In your opinion, to what extent has your company/organization analyzed its workforce demographics to ensure that it will have the people it needs, today and in the future?

Numbers do not add up to 100 due to rounding.
Data is from Talent Management Study, The Sloan Center for Aging & Work at Boston College, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Stephen Sweet, and Kathy Lynch, with Elizabeth Whalley.

Have an Opinion?
Have an opinion to share? Send a Letter to the Editor.


Home | About MAC | The MAC Action Newsline | Manufacturing Our Future Summit
Upcoming Programs | Toolbox | Resource Library | Partners | Contact Us

© Copyright , Manufacturing Advancement Center
100 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA, Privacy Policy
Developed by Telesian Technology