Retaining Employees Requires Commitment

In its upcoming August issue, MODERN CASTING features an article on three companies who have found successful ways to recruit and retain their employees. A lot of retention stemmed from how employees felt they were being treated—in these cases, as part of a team or even a family. It seems like common sense to treat your employees with respect, but for those who have been burned by bad employee after another, giving new hires the benefit of the doubt is tough. 

But the vicious cycle will have to end somewhere. Maybe those bad employees are good employees stifled by poor communication and too little training.

In the article, Joe Emmerichs, general manager of Pacific Steel Casting Co., is candid about his initial attitude toward new programs meant to improve employee conditions, such as safety and in-house promotion. He couldn’t see the payoff. A decade later, he’s singing their praises. He had been doubtful but joined the company’s efforts to be 100% committed to the new programs.

How committed have you been to your company’s efforts to improve recruitment or retention? Have you already doomed new programs to fail, before they’ve even been implemented?

A new pattern is not going to run through an automatic molding line mistake free the first time. You have to make timing and sand filling adjustments. You have to gauge how fast an employee works in relation to the machine. In the end, the time spent perfecting the process pays off in the form of a smoothly running production line.

The same effort is required for your training and safety programs, two key factors in retaining employees.

Recession Talks Are Depressing

A recent conversation with a couple metalcasting executives left us with the overwhelming urge to go home and stuff cash in our mattresses.

Topics of conversation:

  • the weak dollar
  • increasing price of commodities, which are bound to increase even more as Chinese development sucks up our global resources
  • increasing energy costs
  • the lack of an upcoming industry to bail out the economy, like computers did for 1970s inflation
  • the deterioration of the environment

Are we one bad market day from waving Hoover flags? Despite the conversation, this metalcasting executive was still positive about the future of his company. It’s positioned as a value-added supplier. Many long-term parts have kept the same price due to creative packaging and lean maneuvers, keeping his customers happy. Every new part is a conversion from another material or process, so the potential customer list is vast.

According to this month’s web poll, 70% of respondents agreed that judging by casting sales, the U.S. economy was in a recession. Perhaps it is time to be conservative in your operations, but weathering a recession doesn’t have to mean boarding up the windows and stocking up on canned goods until the storm passes. While you are tackling cost-saving initiatives in your facility, don’t forget about cost-saving initiatives for your customers. They are feeling the same effects you are and may be more inclined to consider that casting conversion idea you’ve been pitching for years.


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