Training & Development

From the front line to the leadership suite, targeted, effective training is vital to growing well. Our training organization is responsible for creating and implementing the tools that drive year-over-year improvement and foster an innovative culture that competes successfully in the marketplace to deliver superior results.

With this in mind, we align training content with the Company’s evolving business needs and refine it based on feedback and results. Each year, we assess our delivery platforms, metrics, governance structure and team to identify areas where we have made marked improvement, as well as areas in which we can challenge ourselves to be more effective. Our significant investments in training are well-placed ones in the success of our employees and the Company alike.

During 2015, the training organization was rebranded as the Learning Resource Network, or “LRN,” to more accurately reflect the scope of the team’s impact across the enterprise. The LRN continually assesses delivery platforms, metrics, governance structure and skill sets. This robust leadership academy delivers content in a progressive structure to serve every employee, from front-line supervisors to the C-suite. From online learning to classroom experiences to stretch assignments to coaching and mentoring, the blended approach of the LRN’s practices helps to prepare individuals for the challenges of the evolving business world. Though the LRN’s programs are refined and updated on an ongoing basis, the goal remains constant: positively impacting the success of every area of the business and delivering the greatest possible value to our Company and employees.

Training emphasizes a diversity of learning styles and promotes inclusion at all levels of the organization. This has led to the creation of more diverse selection pools of candidates with potential. In year-over-year comparisons, the percentage of women in these pools has increased from 39 to nearly 48 percent and that of minority candidates from 27 to 43 percent. Across the Company, we offer training linked to specific business objectives in order to bring clear focus and value to the endeavor, as the following examples demonstrate.

Encouraging Innovation

Mechanical downtime is a major issue for facilities throughout the enterprise, decreasing production capacity and demanding resources. Thanks to the Encouraging Innovation pilot program’s first participants, two teams successfully addressed this specific problem and provided their sites with new ways of addressing targeted issues.

Production Supervisor Frederick Orellano and the team at our Calhoun, Georgia, plant realized they never knew exactly what to look for when a winder wasn’t running properly. Finding the problem meant putting the machine out of commission while they determined the cause of the issue. To help reduce the lost time and production gap, they installed Plexiglas windows on the winder’s electrical panel and motors and belt panel. The Plexiglas now creates a transparent view of the alarms that show defective belts, idlers, relays, bearings and shafts, which were previously hidden, allowing the team to troubleshoot before ever having to shut down the machine. They have also installed repair kits inside the cabinets to eliminate travel from the winder to toolboxes and the parts room.

Senior Logistics Engineer Zane Jones and his team also found they had trouble with their cut table machine downtime. They worked together to implement a new touchscreen diagnostic tool that allows them to solve problems with the cut table quickly and efficiently. If the cut table goes down, maintenance employees can use the tool to determine the problem and can often resolve it long before an engineering technician could even arrive at the site to assess the problem. This relatively inexpensive tool allows personnel on-site to troubleshoot problems and fix some of them immediately without relying on other resources, saving the Company time and money.

These examples are just two of the many great solutions that have come out of the two pilot Encouraging Innovation classes that support the Mohawk Business Strategy and innovation throughout all aspects of our business.

  • “Managing for Innovation” classes teach floor managers how to help their team identify opportunities for improvement, study potential process improvements, test methods via pilot programs, then refine and implement new best practices throughout the organization. The number of manufacturing best practices identified and deployed in 2015 increased 14 percent from 2014.
  • Career counseling tools improve managers’ ability to help team members understand career options and develop the skills necessary to pursue them. Structured performance development workshops and online training modules provide managers with a foundation for delivering constructive feedback and identify mentors or external resources to address skill gaps. As a result, the percentage of positions filled through internal promotion increased 110 basis points from 2014 to 2015.
  • Customer service trainings include customized components that align with specialized roles. Distribution and Logistics facilitate “Quality 101” courses for all hourly employees that focus on the customer relationship and define the service role each individual plays. We regularly survey customers and use this information to influence our classroom and eLearning modules. Our 2015 survey results reflected the commitment to this training: 87.9 percent of the Company’s drivers were rated as “excellent” in terms of service, up 220 basis points over 2014, and 86.2 percent were rated “excellent” in terms of product knowledge, up 220 basis points over 2014.
  • Classes, such as “Business Writing in the Electronic Environment,” enhance communications skills to help employees communicate in a more concise and effective manner. Based on post-training surveys of participants’ managers, the average number of emails required to successfully share information dropped from 4.2 to 2.6, driving efficiencies in time and resources.

These are but a few examples of the expansive training initiatives in place in manufacturing, distribution, sales and administrative areas. Such programs are a primary reason why Training magazine recognized Mohawk Industries once again in 2015 by ranking us 33rd in their Top 125 training companies. Notably, Mohawk was the highest-ranked manufacturing organization. This annual list recognizes outstanding training programs at every level throughout an organization and how effectively they are linked to strategic goals and business priorities. Our 2015 recognition marks Mohawk’s eleventh consecutive appearance in the Top 125.

Employee Evaluation

Evaluation and review also is an important component of continuous improvement and professional development. The manner and frequency of our evaluation and communication with employees about their performance vary by type of position and geographic region. Generally, all salaried Mohawk employees throughout the world receive regular performance and career development reviews. For hourly employees, plant management determines the most constructive manner in which to evaluate performance based on operational processes in the plant, as well as customary practices in certain regions of the world.

Global Training Hours per Employee

Job Type
Sales/Clerical 8.73
Technical/Manual 13.48

While we provide an overview of training hours by position, it is Mohawk’s belief that training occurs at a much higher rate across the Company than reported, because not all training is tracked.

Dedicated Training Group Proves Effective

No matter how good one is at his or her job, explaining or demonstrating that job to someone else can often be
a challenge. That was the impetus behind the formation of our Analytical Methods of Training (AMT) group five
years ago.

This group enables new employees to train on manufacturing equipment use both in the classroom and on the job directly with an AMT specialist. This method replaced an antiquated “buddy system,” in which the “trainer” had to balance completing his or her own work with training a new employee; now, an AMT specialist’s sole responsibility is teaching the new employee the skills needed to succeed.

This structured program captures best practices around job tasks, teaches the new employee the best way to perform those tasks and demonstrates how to operate equipment most effectively. As a result, new employees receive more efficient training, learn proper safety protocol, discover how to maintain the highest level of production quality and gain more confidence in their on-the-job abilities.

Over the past five years, the AMT program has grown to cover 10 different job classifications at 25 different manufacturing sites and continues to grow and succeed throughout the Company. The program also has been extended to existing employees, who may need help with certain job tasks and components or who need to learn a best practice.