Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Foreman Development Process
In mid-1993, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis developed a program to train new foremen and improve the performance of current ones, as a structured approach for promoting bargaining unit employees to foreman positions did not exist, and newly-promoted foremen were given little substantial supervisory training.
A director-level task force was assembled to lead development of a closed-loop system for selecting and training both new and existing foremen. A foreman development process was created to guide the training and evaluation program creation. An instructional development steering committee included representatives from across the MDA- St. Louis product and support elements. Subject matter experts were also gathered from across the organization to contribute to development of a comprehensive foreman skills matrix. In the current foreman selection process, employees volunteer for the program, and these candidates then take the Adult Basic Education Test and participate in a behavioral event interview. Successful candidates subsequently enter the training program.
The instructional program is organized into four levels:
Introductory (Off-site training overview and discussion of foreman’s roles and responsibilities) Basic Skills (Communications, coaching, time management, problem solving)
Basic Shop Floor Skills (Labor relations, human resources [HR], policies, schedule, quality, and available support)
On-the-Job (Coach assists a new foreman on the shop floor)
The training program covers 29 subject areas needed for developing competent foremen. Each area has a knowledge test for post-training use. The curriculum developed is intensive and comprehensive. The first class which was recently completed for 37 students was well received, and pre-test/post-test scores demonstrated a significant increase in foreman skills and knowledge across all instruction modules.
The MDA-St. Louis effort expended for selecting, training, and evaluating foremen represents a wise investment with significant future pay-off. The comprehensive training process will continue to provide MDA-St. Louis with highly-skilled and trained foremen.
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