Jim Carr: Hey, Jason. You know I love acronyms, right? We've got the MakingChips acronym book, right?
Jason Zenger: Yeah. So what do you want to add to it?
Jim Carr: Well, it's called FSBS.
Jason Zenger: Are you swearing in that one?
Jim Carr: I am not swearing in that and it's all about ProShop ERP.
Jason Zenger: So what does it mean?
Jim Carr: Well, we're using it for-
Jason Zenger: Let me guess, the S in shop.
Jim Carr: For Shops By Shops.
Jason Zenger: Well, that's how that software was made.
Jim Carr: It was. Shop floor guys developed this software and let me tell you, it is no BS. So go to proshoperp.com for more information.
Jim Carr: Welcome to MakingChips. We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you could elevate your skills, solve your problems and grow your business. I'm your host, Jim Carr. I'm joined by my good friend and cohost, Jason 'JZ' Zenger. I love using that acronym, JZ. It sounds so rockstarish.
Jason Zenger: Thank you.
Jim Carr: How you doing?
Jason Zenger: I'm doing great-
Jim Carr: Yeah, it feels good-
Jason Zenger: ... although I have no aspirations to be a rock star.
Jim Carr: No? I do. I always wanted to be one, but I'm not going to do one at my age, that's for sure. I'm not going to be one at my age, but I am a recording artist. Did you know that?
Jason Zenger: I guess if you consider this recording that we are. Yeah.
Jim Carr: We are. Do we have microphones in our hands?
Jason Zenger: We do.
Jim Carr: Are we recording?
Jason Zenger: Yeah.
Jim Carr: So there, we're recording artists.
Jason Zenger: There you go. You have met your dreams.
Jim Carr: I've met my dreams.
Jim Carr: Before we get into this episode, Jason and I talk about this a lot offline and Jason wanted me to share today with you, the metalworking nation, my techniques at onboarding a new manufacturing employee in my shop. I don't necessarily think it's rocket science, but, obviously, he thinks it's interesting enough that I can share it with all of you, so that's what I'm going to do today. I'm going to share with you what I do and maybe you can pick and choose what you want to use in your companies. Hopefully, it will equip and inspire you to do something a little bit better than you were doing yesterday. That's what I'm going to share with you today and I hope you enjoy it.
Jim Carr: But before we get there, Jason, tell me what's new at Zenger Black.
Jason Zenger: What is going on at Zenger's is that we just delivered a new vending machine for a new client to-
Jim Carr: Locally?
Jason Zenger: ... Oklahoma.
Jim Carr: Cool.
Jason Zenger: Yeah. We just shipped a vending machine down to Oklahoma and we're going to be doing an integration-
Jim Carr: What is it called, MRO?
Jason Zenger: What do you mean, MRO?
Jim Carr: What is that process called when you're vending-
Jason Zenger: Well, it's part of our VIP process, so vending integration, productivity.
Jason Zenger: What we do is we typically put in a vending machine, which is like an automated tool crib attendant. Then we integrate ourselves into our client's processes in order to help them to increase their productivity. We just shipped a machine to Oklahoma and my team is going to be going out there, including myself, to onboard this new customer-
Jim Carr: Oh, was that why when we walked in here today you said... one of your employees that, "Yeah, I think I'm going to go to Oklahoma with you?"
Jason Zenger: No. I said, "Are you ready to go to Oklahoma next week?" He was like, "Sure, if you want to." We're not going next week. We're going soon, but not next week.
Jason Zenger: But, yeah, it's a new client. We're doing something outside of the city of Chicago, which is fun and exciting. It was somebody that was a MakingChips listener, who I'm going to interview while I'm down there as well, because I think he's got a great story, kind of like one of our previous episode. He's new to the manufacturing industry. He wasn't a pastor, but he used to be in a private equity business. I think he's got a lot of experience that would be helpful for the metalworking nation.
Jim Carr: Well, it's important to have a little bit of business acumen, too-
Jason Zenger: Yes.
Jim Carr: ... because those are really hard skills that, no matter what industry you go into, are going to be helpful in running a business. You can tweak some of the other things about manufacturing your own way and you're going to have to learn the hard way about the industry. But, at the end of the day, just having a solid business acumen-
Jason Zenger: Yeah, there's certain business things that are just consistent in any industry.
Jim Carr: Like reading financial statements-
Jason Zenger: Right, exactly.
Jim Carr: ... profit and loss. Are you making money or not making money?
Jason Zenger: Yeah, managing your team, leading them-
Jim Carr: Culture. [crosstalk 00:04:11]
Jason Zenger: ... all these things. Great stuff, so, yeah. We're going to be going down to Oklahoma and it's going to be fun to open up that territory for our business. He's going to introduce me to some new prospective clients out there. Maybe we'll have an office in Oklahoma pretty soon.
Jim Carr: Cool. So I just wanted to share with the metalworking nation before we move on here, there's a lot of other information that you all can get if you subscribe to our Boring Bar, which is our weekly newsletter. It's really easy to subscribe. We're not going to spam you.
Jim Carr: We just send you a weekly email and it's got all the little tidbits of information within that email to some curated news articles. We have some great writers on our team and they're really writing inspirational articles about the industry and day-to-day business that we think that you would benefit from reading. There's also vlogs and other information there. It's not too in-depth. Believe me, if it was, I would put it-
Jason Zenger: It's a short read.
Jim Carr: It's a short read. I don't like long reads, but just pick up your smartphone and text chips, C-H-I-P-S, to 38470, boom, you're subscribed. I promise we won't spam and if you don't want the email anymore, you can unsubscribe. That easy.
Jason Zenger: You know what I love about the Boring Bar?
Jim Carr: What?
Jason Zenger: Is that it will forward you to our YouTube channel where you can see videos that we've done before and so people can actually see you, Jim-
Jim Carr: Yeah, I know, my old face.
Jason Zenger: ... and see mine, instead of just listening to us. If anybody wants to know, Jim is the one with the beard.
Jim Carr: I am not. Some days I have a beard.
Jason Zenger: No, I mean you're the one with the long beard.
Jim Carr: That was Chris Fox.
Jason Zenger: Oh, okay.
Jim Carr: Yeah, yeah.
Jason Zenger: Oh.
Jim Carr: No. Sometimes I have a beard, but it's more scruffy today.
Jason Zenger: You're not the guy with the long beard?
Jim Carr: No, I am not the guy with the long beard?
Jason Zenger: Oh. Are you the guy with the goatee?
Jim Carr: No. No goatee.
Jason Zenger: Who is that?
Jim Carr: I have a scruffy face sometimes.
Jason Zenger: Who's got the goatee?
Jim Carr: Oh, that's Nick. Yeah, he's a good guy. He's our partner. He's a great guy.
Jason Zenger: But, yeah, there are some great videos out there. There's a couple of interesting ones. Like Jim has a video about swearing in the workplace and business succession planning and the power of networking. They're like little videos that are [crosstalk 00:06:18], how to-
Jim Carr: And how to interview for a manufacturing job-
Jason Zenger: Yeah, using hashtag in social media.
Jim Carr: ... over 8,000 YouTube-
Jason Zenger: Oh, yada, yada.
Jim Carr: ... views. Over 8,000, yup. I must've tagged that one really well.
Jason Zenger: Yeah.
Jim Carr: But, yeah, there is additional information there. We're not going to cry if you don't go and look at it and view it, but we want you to know that it's available for you.
Jim Carr: So, again, Jason, you had asked me to share with you and the metalworking nation some of my onboarding process at Carr and I found a news article about onboarding millennials. Because let's face it, most of the new skilled and unskilled people that we're hiring into our businesses nowadays are millennials, right?
Jason Zenger: [crosstalk 00:07:01]
Jim Carr: They're a big part of our workforce.
Jason Zenger: I think it's good to have a balance.
Jim Carr: I think it is good... Oh, believe me, I'm all about diversity. But the overarching number of people that are applying are millennials, so I kind of am structuring this to hiring millennials and onboarding millennials.
Jim Carr: Number one, four proven ways to successfully onboard millennial employees. One, get on board with pre-boarding. You know, when you go away on a plane, there's pre-boarding? Get yourself ready. We're going to be boarding in 15 minutes.
Jason Zenger: Is that like when they say if you have kids you can get on first?
Jim Carr: Right. Or if you have any handicaps or if you're military, pre-boarding, get on. What did I mean by pre-boarding? It's just teeing up the new employee to a successful employment career.
Jason Zenger: So like reviewing their-
Jim Carr: Well, there's a lot of things.
Jason Zenger: ... employee manual or what?
Jim Carr: I can actually go into the article and tell you exactly what it says.
Jim Carr: It says, "When do you start onboarding your new employees? If you said on their first day, you're onboarding too late in the process. Don't worry, though. It's easy enough to catch up. All you need to do is implement pre-boarding. What is pre-boarding? It consists of activities and outreach that happen after the job candidate has accepted your job offer, but before their first day. Now you've entered into an employment agreement, although the paperwork isn't signed and filed just yet." So it's all-
Jason Zenger: So what of kinds of things?
Jim Carr: Traditionally HR managers, business owners would wait to start onboarding when the new hire arrived in the office. I would imagine it's getting their insurance stuff, all the documentation that you need for state and federal. You can do all that in advance. I would give them the employee handbook. I would start to-
Jason Zenger: Yeah, we use an automated system for that, so it's a self-service automated system to-
Jim Carr: That's great.
Jason Zenger: ... allow somebody to fill out all their information.
Jim Carr: So you're doing a good job on pre-boarding your millennial hire, right?
Jason Zenger: Yeah, because millennials, in general, like to do those things themselves.
Jim Carr: Right, exactly. They don't want to sit down with HR in a meeting and do it.
Jim Carr: Number two, begin relationship-building. Pre-boarding is part of a larger shift in onboarding and employee development processes.
Jason Zenger: I've got an idea.
Jim Carr: What's that?
Jason Zenger: What if you had a new employee and let's just say that they're not from the manufacturing industry, maybe they're like new in the shop or maybe they're just sitting in the office or something like that? You know what you can do as part of the relationship-building for just the manufacturing industry, in general?
Jim Carr: What's that?
Jason Zenger: Listen to MakingChips.
Jim Carr: Well, that would definitely help. Absolutely. I've talked to many young people that have just started into the industry and they said, "Thank you because you've really given me some insight into what the industry is all about," and I appreciate that.
Jim Carr: Three, communicate. That's a big one for me. I think it's all about communicate. I stress communication a lot to my customers, to my vendors and to my employees. Because if you're not constantly communicating, you're not going to have a successful relationship.
Jim Carr: Four, establish a sense of purpose. Millennials want a sense of purpose. They want to feel like they're adding to the greater good of the company and the greater good of the society, so try and establish a sense of purpose for them being there.
Jim Carr: Those are the four major ones. I got this article, there'll be a link in the newsletter from JungoHR, J-U-N-G-O-H-R, Four Proven Ways To Successfully Onboard Millennial Employees. It's there. It's dated September 20, 2019 and it goes into a little greater detail on that. But we're here for me to talk about what I'm doing differently at Carr Machine & Tool.
Jim Carr: I guess if I thought about the way that I pre-board my employees in the hiring process, first and foremost, that new prospect, the new employee prospect is put through the filter, the cultural filter of Carr Machine & Tool. Do they align-
Jason Zenger: Well, that should be done during the interview process.
Jim Carr: It is.
Jason Zenger: It shouldn't even get to onboarding by the time that that happens.
Jim Carr: Well, it's part of the pre-boarding process. But what I do is just before I'm ready to hire them, I bring them into my weekly production meeting to see how they engage with all the other people in the company. I have them go out into the shop and just talk to everybody. Anywhere from-
Jason Zenger: So before you even make them an offer-
Jim Carr: Before they... Yeah, because-
Jason Zenger: ... they're a part of one of your meetings?
Jim Carr: Absolutely, 100% because I have to see how they're going to engage with the rest of the people.
Jim Carr: If they're just going to sit there on the corner with their hands folded and not participate, then they're certainly not aligned with our core values and they're never going to work out, so part of that... And by the time I invite them in to sit I'm pretty confident I'm going to make them an offer, so I try to pre-board them with that particular thing. I make them an offer, they say yes and I say, "Okay, here's how we're going to do this. You're going to start on this day" and I go through the whole process with them. I said, "But most importantly, in 30 days, we schedule the 30-day performance review" on their first day and-
Jason Zenger: I think that's a good idea because I know with me a lot of times those performance reviews get away from me and then I just don't do them and I need to-
Jim Carr: They're really important.
Jason Zenger: Yeah, so I think scheduling that, that's very insightful on that first day. Here's your checklist of things you need to do on the first day and scheduling your 30-day review is a great one.
Jim Carr: I don't make-
Jason Zenger: Is that 30 working days or is it 30 calendar days?
Jim Carr: A month. So if they start on November 1st, on December 1st we sit down and talk again.
Jason Zenger: Okay.
Jim Carr: What I do is I don't make it an arduous process and I don't give them any goal-setting in the first 30 days because they got to feel what the company is all about and I think it's really important for them just to feel their way into the company. But we do a lot of hand-holding and a lot of shadowing for the first 30 days because I think it's really important.
Jim Carr: Then when we hit the 30-day mark, I give them their performance, how they're doing. I've got a pre... about six different questions that we ask. Are they on-task, below expectations, on-par with expectations or exceeding expectations? Then I put comments in on how we believe that they're doing.
Jason Zenger: Do you really ever tell somebody that they're below expectations?
Jim Carr: I have told people that they are below-
Jason Zenger: You have? And how did people react to that?
Jim Carr: Sometimes they're very surprised and I apologize for doing that, but that's how we see it.
Jason Zenger: It's better probably to get it out of the way right away.
Jim Carr: It is because I needed to flip it around. Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't.
Jim Carr: But the objective to the 30-day review or performance review is just to let them know that we are taking an active, conscious approach to their success in working for the company. And during that first 30 days or this... Actually the next aspect of it is when we start goal-setting. So we want you to learn how to run the Haas machine. We want you to learn how to use the cans visual inspection machine.
Jim Carr: It could be anything and it's really structured for each individual person, but it's 30-days performance review and then within a week after that we give the compensation review. Either we give them an increase or not.
Jason Zenger: After how long?
Jim Carr: After 30 days.
Jason Zenger: But is that because that was a part of the offer, is that you gave them a lower-
Jim Carr: Typically less.
Jason Zenger: And why do you do that?
Jim Carr: Because I have no idea what their true value is, so-
Jason Zenger: Yeah, but most people come into a job with an expectation of wages.
Jim Carr: They do. Right.
Jason Zenger: And so what happened? Have you ever told somebody, "No, I'm sorry, but you're not going to get that?"
Jim Carr: Yes, I absolutely have.
Jason Zenger: Okay.
Jim Carr: Absolutely. Because it has to be commensurate with what I believe is happening in the market right now.
Jason Zenger: Well, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is like when I make somebody a job offer, I'm making them an offer that I'm assuming they're going to stay at that wage level for the next year and I-
Jim Carr: I would rather bring them up based on-
Jason Zenger: But then there's almost an expectation that they're going to go up after that first 30 days.
Jim Carr: Not necessarily. If their performance is not good, how can you give them an increase?
Jason Zenger: Yeah, that's true.
Jim Carr: So we measure performance and we've talked about this with our HR people, Jess, we've talked about it with Carla and based on how the performance review goes, we reward the employee with an increase in compensation.
Jim Carr: But I don't want to make it all about compensation because it's really a lot about goal-setting and learning new skills. And we talk about getting to work on time and missed work. There's a lot of things. I have a structured thing that I use for everybody.
Jim Carr: But then after the 60 days, then we do a 90-day performance review/compensation review. Then after 90, we do maybe six months and then we do a year. Then after the one-year mark, it's annually.
Jason Zenger: Every time you do that review, somebody could potentially be expecting a raise.
Jim Carr: They could potentially be expecting a raise. They could.
Jim Carr: We certainly want to talk about it because, at the end of the day, everyone's working to make a living, right? Everyone should expect to be reviewed based on performance and compensation and I believe that it's really important to do it that often in the early stages. I'm a proponent of splitting up the reviews versus the compensation, so the performance review and the compensation review are two separate things.
Jason Zenger: Right.
Jim Carr: How often do you have performance/compensation reviews in the first year?
Jason Zenger: Not as often as I should be and I'm actually... That's one of my new initiatives.
Jim Carr: I could help you. We spoke about it.
Jason Zenger: I would love some help with that.
Jim Carr: Yeah.
Jason Zenger: Yeah.
Jim Carr: Well, you helped me with core values. I can help you with that.
Jason Zenger: I think I would appreciate that.
Jim Carr: It's not rocket science what I'm doing.
Jason Zenger: I'm going to take you up on that, Jim Carr.
Jim Carr: Yeah, I can absolutely do that.
Jim Carr: Then when they get to the one year, hopefully, they're integrated well into our system. They know how we work, they know what our expectations are and what their expectations are.
Jim Carr: And I think it's just really good. Again, going back to that number three bullet about communicating, I just think it's really, really important to sit them down and let them have a voice and get some feedback. And we need to nip it, issues in the bud right away, especially when somebody is hired on at the beginning. How about you?
Jason Zenger: Yup, I agree with that.
Jim Carr: Yeah.
Jason Zenger: No, I agree. We're not doing it in a formulaic way, like you are and as often as you are.
Jason Zenger: That's one of the changes, as we spoke about in a previous episode, because I want to start doing that and being better about it. I think that we've had such extreme growth over the last several years. It's been overwhelming for me to be able to do that, but I think I need to take a step back now and really start getting back into sitting down on a more frequent basis with my team.
Jim Carr: Yeah, it's important and you don't necessarily have to do it, you yourself. You can delegate, of course, to somebody else.
Jason Zenger: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There's only a few people here that are equipped to be able to have those conversations, particularly Craig, my integrator and I and some others. But I want to be a part of it and I want to set the structure. Maybe you could help me to set the structure for 2020.
Jim Carr: Yeah.
Jason Zenger: Jim, I know that you have a vast amount of experience from the years in CNC machining, but for-
Jim Carr: I do. I do.
Jason Zenger: ... the metalworking nation out there who doesn't have all that experience or maybe somebody that's in supply chain who wants to learn a little bit more about CNC machining, you know that Xometry has design guides that could be very helpful in their positions.
Jim Carr: Yeah. I'm utilizing Xometry to manufacture some of my overloaded work and this has a great introductory page. It's xometry.com/design-guides. What it does is it goes through the different, various offerings they have, like sheet metal fabrication, CNC machine design guide, plastic injection molding, castings, injection molding-
Jason Zenger: Yeah, it just [crosstalk 00:19:31].
Jim Carr: ... and laser sintering. So if you don't know what part you have, you can utilize this design guide page on Xometry to kind of figure out where you fall in the manufacturer of a particular product or application. So it's a great resource to have and, again, it's xometry.com/design-guides. Start there.
Jim Carr: Anyway, this has been a proven process that I've been using now for about the past three years and it really seems to be working well. I've had a lot of good retention in my shop. I really believe that the employee feels more connected to the company and to me where they feel they can openly talk to me and share in a safe environment what they're doing right and what they're potentially doing wrong.
Jason Zenger: Or where they could use some improvement.
Jim Carr: I mean, I could use improvements.
Jason Zenger: I agree.
Jim Carr: Yeah.
Jason Zenger: We're all on this earth for continual improvement.
Jim Carr: So that's really it, Jason. Did I answer all your questions?
Jason Zenger: No, I think it's good. I think one of the changes, like I mentioned before, that we need to make in my company is that we need to be more focused on doing those reviews on a more regular basis and doing it in a more formulaic manner.
Jason Zenger: I had always thought doing it every six months would be good and that's what I was planning on doing. But at the end of the day, as you would say, what that's going to end up being is about almost a hundred reviews that I have to do every single year and so that's a lot.
Jim Carr: That's a lot. No, I agree it's arduous.
Jason Zenger: It is.
Jim Carr: But you'll figure it out. I'm confident.
Jim Carr: Remember, millennials are a little different breed, too. I mean, I grew up in a business where, "What do you mean you're going to get a review?"
Jason Zenger: Right. Just get on the machine and make those parts.
Jim Carr: Yeah, John Smith has been really good. He'd come to work on time all the time. He's doing really good over there on the lathe. Let's give him 15 cents an hour, you know? That's how it used to be and that's all I knew. And, honestly, I learned what I'm doing by interviewing professional people outside of our industry that we brought in to interview and I've kind of adopted those techniques into my own business.
Jim Carr: So it's not rocket science, like I've said before. It's just making those appointments to sit down, creating a short spreadsheet, answering a few questions and just getting it done. It's very easy for me. I don't have any problems doing it at all. I think, actually, quite frankly, I look forward-
Jason Zenger: I enjoy having those conversations because you are doing something for that person in order to help them be better, and I think that everybody wants to be better. And when you could be a part of them taking things to the next level, I think that that's a very rewarding thing for the business owner, for the manufacturing leader.
Jim Carr: Here's one mistake I made. I was giving a performance review and I was sharing with this employee how they were doing on their performance. We kind of veered off and started talking about another employee and that employee that I was giving the performance review said, "Hey, we're talking about X. It's supposed to be about me." I said, "You know what? I genuinely apologize because you're right. It's not about that person. It is about you."
Jason Zenger: Well, and some people don't like to talk about themselves and they might deflect to somebody else and [crosstalk 00:23:04] that back in.
Jim Carr: No. Right, right. So that was a learning experience for me is remember it's all about that person. I'm giving them 100% of my time to talk about them and what they're doing and you've got to be really honed in on that person. That's just one area that I would say be cognizant of when you're giving a performance review, is not to veer off and start talking about anybody else.
Jason Zenger: So can we put a date on the calendar right now for you to sit down with me and help me with putting a structure together?
Jim Carr: You sure? Okay. Anyway, I hope I equipped and inspired you. I look forward to meeting and then sharing, like you did with me, about core values in engaging me in core values and the importance of them. I, too, hope that I can equip and inspire you by sharing what I do with my employees as far as performance compensation reviews on a timely basis. So we'll get that scheduled because at the end of the day, man, if you're not making chips-
Jason Zenger: You're not making money. Bam.
Jim Carr: Bam.
Speaker 3: As always, thank you for listening to the MakingChips podcast. You need to increase the speed and feed of your business. If you're not elevating your manufacturing leadership, you're going to get left behind. The metalworking nation is committed to a new way to stay ahead of the competition. We have more content to help you make and elevate at makingchips.com. Gain access to exclusive content, as well as videos, blogs, show notes and more resources designed to equip and inspire you. We'll see you next time.