How do we train workers?
It depends on how we look at the issue.
If we look at it as ‘workers are merely an extension of machines’ then we teach them skills to interface better with the machines they work with. We give them a fish a day to survive. This is the usual Type I training.
If we look at it as ‘workers are human beings who can think and figure out things for themselves and creatively contribute’ then we teach them life skills that expand their minds. We teach them how to fish. This is the unusual Type II life transforming educational experience.
There is a huge paradigm shift involved in these two perspectives.
For example, we organized and conducted for a multinational manufacturing unit located in Kolkata the unique Type II course for a period of 10 months. This was for a group consisting of 30 workers who have had studied up to Class 8. The subjects were: Science, Mathematics, Computers, Spoken English & English handwriting.
Many experts were cynical. They haven’t heard of such a course done for workers anywhere in the world. They predicted failure. So what? Having clearly understood the context and the reality we went ahead undeterred. Thanks to the Chairman to take up and support the radical idea.
And the results were phenomenal. Supervisors vouched for the improvements they have seen with this group of workers. It was a phenomenon difficult to believe. Bosses were wonderstruck. Some were unable to comprehend as to how this could ever happen.
These workers absented themselves the least and were most productive through the year
Quality rejection reduced without taking any special effort to improve quality.
Material wastage plummeted to an all time low in their area of work. .
They volunteered to take up jobs of their supervisors like logging production and rejection records on excel sheets, which they knew nothing about 10 months back.
They could now read and understand drawings much better, read the notices and circulars put up on notice boards and communicate with foreign visitors to their shop floors
In short, they were proud of their internal transformation and were willing to invest 2 hours of their time every day for the next 2 years for such life transforming educational experience – of the Type II.What next?