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Bright Ideas: Tap your staff’s talents

Laid off workers aren’t the only ones who need help during a recession, says Heidi Garcia, human performance specialist with Karico Performance Solutions.

Companies need to make full use of their employees’ talents to survive and thrive, though many don’t, she says.

“We think that there is a lot of unused brain power on the shop floor that managers and supervisors are not tapping into,” Garcia says. “When we take a look at facilities, we’ve got people from about every national background and many of them have fantastic educations from their home country.

“Those people have fantastic ideas, they are creative, they are innovative.”

Though Karico offers help to jobseekers, the company’s expertise is helping manufacturing firms motivate and more fully engage their staff.

“I think that is a huge opportunity for a management team who’s interested in getting to the next level and surviving this recession,” Garcia says. “Know what talents your people have.”

But it cuts both ways, she says. Employees need to let their managers know they can contribute more.

“Toot your horn in a positive light on all the things you’re capable of doing,” Garcia says. “We always tell people, ‘Everyone’s got unique skills, abilities, talents, gifts, but you’ve got to be able to tell people what it is that you do so that you can be fully utilized’.”

Morale is boosted when employees are more engaged at work, she says.

Karico offers what Garcia calls modules on motivation, inspiration, improved communications, dealing with conflict, diversity and team building: all soft skills that she says are neglected in the manufacturing sector.

“Our motto,” she says, “is, ‘We want to rock the manufacturing world’.”

Vaughan Today
In print: March 20, 2009, page 7
Online: March 23, 2009 [link]
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