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This another blog in a continuing series discussing what makes for a resilient manufacturing organization. If you missed the opening discussion please read part 1.a summary of the topic, part 2 the introduction, part 3 Flexible Manufacturing Capacity & Scheduling,  part 4 Enterprise Asset Managementpart 5 Enterprise Asset Management II , part 6 Enterprise Asset Management III , part 7 Enterprise Asset Management IV , part 8 Facilities Managment

Human Capital Management

All organizations need people who can do the required work. And traditionally organizations have concentrated on the physical infrastructure in making their organizations resilient. The workforce is a major factor in the resilience of an organization. The culture of the organization has to be able to support and develop a resilient workforce, which should have the following aspects:
  • A clear, unambiguous purpose, expressed as a simple ‘big idea’, an idea which all staff relate to closely, and are proud to discuss with friends and
  • An  atmosphere of confidence, where all the staff are interested in each other, support each other, and project this confidence towards clients and
  • Staff who behave respectfully towards each other, value each other’s views and opinions, work in teams which are places of mutual support, where anything is debated without a hint of humiliation, where the critique of the individual and team work is welcomed, discussed and where lessons are   learnt and implemented.
  • Staff who ‘go the extra mile’ by providing unsolicited ideas, thoughts, stimulus to each other, and where their interests in their customers and clients
         offers something that is more than expected, beyond courtesy, and beyond service, offering attentiveness and personal interest.
  • Challenges for their staff, that provide opportunities for personal development though new experiences, and which treat everyone with fairness and
  • Staff who are personally driven towards organisational and personal success –  intellectually, financially, socially and emotionally.[1]

These organizations need employees who are both adaptable and resilient. They are ones that can anticipate change, develop innovated process to adapt to the changes, recover quickly from setbacks, while working effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Of course the trick is finding, employing and retaining these valuable workers.

Talent Management
Talent management is the part of the human capital management process that ensures that an organization has a continuous supply of highly skilled and productive individuals in the right job, at the right time. This is a continuous process that plans talent needs based on the organizations requirements, builds a reputation to attract the very best, helps to retain the very best, and facilitates the continuous movement of talent to where it can
have the most impact within the organization. Properly executed talent management helps to increase overall workforce productivity through the
improved attraction, retention, and utilization of talent.

According to the World Economic Forum an estimated 10 million jobs with manufacturing organizations cannot be filled today due to a growing skills gap [2]. Nor do they expect the skill’s gap to close very soon. Those companies that can attract and retain skilled workers will be the companies that prosper. Skilled workers will be the most critical resource the success of companies. These talented individuals are collectively not only expected to be adaptable, but also be able to continuously innovate, and simultaneously improved production efficiency.

Figure  Drivers of Global Manufacturing Competiveness [3]

The competition for these talented individuals will be fierce; every company will be looking for these talented individuals.  The resilient company will have to overcome these trends in order to be successful. Companies will have to accept that they will not be able to hire individuals with the skills that they are looking for. They will have to start looking for individuals who can are flexible, adaptable, and have the capabilities that you require, just not the unique skill that you need. These individuals will have to be trained as quickly as possible so that they can become productive. In fact in the resilient organization the upgrading and development of skills is part of the working environment.  Today’s business environment changes rapidly and the talent management organization has to not only seek out new individuals, but enable the continuous upgrading of the current workforce’s skill set.

To identify those unique individuals that could benefit your organization, all methods or recruitment should be utilized.  The traditional methods (advertising, recruiting service providers, etc.), companies are adding a web presence to their internal postings, external postings, and to job boards. Keeping a  omprehensive tracking of all applicants is essential in today’s environment, as job requirements change with the changing environment, past non chosen applicants could now be viable candidates. Having this information reduced the amount to time needed to sort through the applicants for candidates. Reducing the time to identify and hire qualified workers, increases the resilience and flexibility of an organization.

Part of a resilient organization is to have a well-trained and flexible work force.  A modern organization has to continuously educate its staff. Positions have to be defined along with the skill sets and knowledge required. Matching up these requirements with the existing staff allow for identification of misaligned skills. This miss alignment then can be transformed into training plans to address the needs. Both short term and long term development plans can then be developed to support the corporation’s and the individual’s training requirements.

To develop a resilient organization, resilient employees are needed. Some will be already in your organization; some will have to be acquired form outside. In either case, once you have a resilient employee it is better to keep them than having to continuously rehire from the outside. Policies that favor existing employees, multiple opportunities for training and advancement, programs to relieve stress and to help with the work life balance all help in keeping employees.  Unfortunately even the best of companies will lose people for a variety of reasons. This means that as part of being a resilient organization this type of event must also be taken into account.  Identifying those critical positions, identifying specific employees as potential successors, along with identifying and tracking high potential employees with development plans to ensure that they are prepared for the future, are part of the make up a comprehensive succession management plan.  A resilient organization already has people identified, programs, and plans in place to quickly react to an unplanned vacancy.

Have you faced issues with creating a resilient organization? Is it possible to build a resilient organization in the chemical industry? Feel free to discuss/share stories about these questions along with manufacturing in the chemicals industry in general in the comment space below. 

Or join the conversation at @SAP4Chemicals

[1] Professor Derek Mowbray – Corporate resilience
[3] Deloitte and the U.S. Council on Competiveness 2010 Global Manufacturing Competiveness Index
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