Over the years, I have seen a significant decrease in production workers at trade shows such as the most recent NPE. For those who may never think to send their employees to trade shows, I would like to provide a few resons why it can be helpful to you.
The Plastics Industry
Most employees think of themselves as just an employee at a company that makes cases, bottles, buckets, cases, bags, pellets, etc. As a result, they approach their job with the zeal of a clerk. Sadly, most people working in the plastics industy never realize there is a plastics industry!!!
Although employees may not learn skills that will directly relate to their job, they will realize that they are a part of a much larger industry. Giving a person the opportunity to meet representatives from material, machine, and equipment suppliers… provides a great appreciation of the plastics industry.
This is not the time to wine and dine your employees with excess. The atmosphere can be fun and friendly, but it should also remain professional. Always delegate some responsibility to your employees… It keeps their focus and may give you a whole new perspective.
Let’s suppose you are evaluating a few different machines for purchase… You may ask your technicians to evaluate the controls while you concentrate on the specifications and costs. In your review, one brand of machine may have the best cost and specifications, but your technicians find the machine controls confusing, thus anticipating push-back from their fellow employees. With their feedback, you may choose a machine with similar benefits, but with the added benefit of your technicians returning to the plant with rave reviews… resulting in a sense of excitement and anticipation for the new machine. This small insight such as this can easily return the investment of the trip.
Ultimately, such activities foster a sense of appreciation and good will for your company. If you open your employees’ eyes to the plastics industry and give them a participatory role, they will be grateful for the opportunity.