How an Absent Employee Enhanced our Productivity Forever

incFrom Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine. It's about the “skills” bonus program Marlin Steel adopted to boost versatility:

An emergency order had to go out of our plant right away, but it was stymied: The person who normally handled our shipping was out of town. No one else knew how to process a shipping order. It was ridiculous.

As soon as the person returned, we trained a backup. We realized that we never wanted to be hamstrung like that again. We wanted our employees to be more versatile--not just to handle the shipping order procedure but to be able to run multiple machines. After all, some days the laser cutter is crazy busy; another day, it's the press brake. That nimbleness would translate to greater productivity and greater ability to manage the peaks and valleys of our business producing wire baskets and sheet-metal fabrications. Read more ...