Several years ago, as a quality manager, I found myself in a situation that I had to make a tough decision. I quickly needed to build up my customer quality engineering team due to responsibility changes within the organization.
I had two choices:
- hire experienced quality engineers as quickly as possible
- choose internal candidates without any experience within the customer quality field
I made several interviews, met some “quality stars” from outside who had lots of confidence, but I realized that they also had lack of technical knowledge as well.
Just because someone worked as quality engineers for years, unfortunately it does not necessarily mean they have the knowledge which is required for the task and the personality which is needed for the team.
Finally, I recognized that anyway I need to train my colleagues a lot and in mid term, it is much more important to have team members who are eager to learn and who are fitting into the team.
I decided to choose internal candidates who really wanted to learn and convinced them to take this challenge.
I personally made several trainings for them, focusing on problem solving and Core Tools, but only which were appropriate for them.
The best method to train your employees is to let them work on challenges – learning by doing.
When the first quality claim arrived (certainly on Friday afternoon – as always…), I took the lead in the claim handling and explained all steps and the reasons behind, I led the customer communication.
But they got small tasks within the claim handling process which they were able to solve.
From time to time they got more and more responsibility and they were able to manage it better and better.
Half a year later they were working independently, but they always came to me for advice if they needed, explained what they were planning, and weekly we reviewed the risks and the difficulties together. They were motivated and their skills improved a lot. Now one of them is working as a Quality Manager.
What else could be more motivating for a leader than to support candidates from the organization to develop themselves?
As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.
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