The MAKING CHIPS Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders with Jason Zenger & Jim Carr

Welcome to MakingChips - We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems and grow your business. Making Chips is a weekly podcast that will EQUIP and INSPIRE MANUFACTURING LEADERS to succeed in the challenging world of manufacturing. Our mission is for the METALWORKING NATION to Think Differently About Manufacturing In Order to Elevate their Game. Your hosts, Jason Zenger & Jim Carr, own manufacturing businesses and interview other leaders in the metalworking, machining, fabrication, tooling and machine tool industries. We have interviewed successful manufacturing CEOs you may have not heard of and also the biggest names in manufacturing like Titan Gilroy from Titans of CNC, John Saunders from NYC CNC, Mark Terryberry from Haas Automation and others from MakerCast, Sandvik Coromant, Autocrib and more. Think of us as your virtual community of manufacturing peers to help solve your toughest problems and grow your business. "Making Chips has provided a transparent approach to sharing within the manufacturing community and a modern platform to do so. Thank you both for taking the lead on moving our industry segment forward!" Patricia Miller - CEO & Visionary (Matrix IV) I really think what you guys are doing is a great, great thing for manufacturing. I have learned so much already from many of your episodes, and am so thrilled to have met people that get as revved up about manufacturing as I do! Cassandra Haupers – Vice President of Operations (Swiss Precision Machining) I love being able to experience what manufacturers are doing to promote culture and engage their team members and community. All of us are smarter than one of us. That is why I am part of the Making Chips tribe. Barry E. Walter, Jr. – Chief Operating Officer (Barry E. Walter, Sr. Co.) Finally, relevant manufacturing media that is actually entertaining! Dietmar Goellner – Chief Executive Officer (Advanced Machine & Engineering / Hennig) The more manufacturing companies we can get to think this way, the stronger our industry will be. Thank you for sharing! Jess Giudici – Manager, Talent and Culture I’m thankful to you for creating MakingChips for the Metalworking Nation so that Owners / Employees can strengthen their companies. Phil Sponsler – President (ORBITFORM) I love the podcast! It really serves to fill a void in the manufacturing world. I will admit I always feel a little more inspired. Jason Falk – Senior Application Engineer, CMTSE (HURCO) Thanks to all the great info on your podcasts and the website. Dave Lechleitner – Director of Solutions and Product Marketing (KEYEDIN) I really love what you guys are doing to advance the mfg industry in a way that really reaches the right audiences. Jeff Rizzie – Senior Manager-Business Development (Sandvik Coromant)
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The MAKING CHIPS Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders with Jason Zenger & Jim Carr







All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 7, 2020

Times are changing and as manufacturing leaders, we need to adjust with these times. "In business, if we don't change, we don't grow and we don't survive." - Robin Johnson, a change agent, with a passion for helping organizational leaders move their organizations from current to future state joins MakingChips to discuss how to become emotionally intelligent as a leader during these changing times.


  • Jim and Jason discuss how they are changing and adapting with their businesses through a global pandemic. (1:42)
  • Jason and Jim discuss manufacturing news about the H.R. 6690 Act (5:46)
  • Guest Robin Johnson explains what emotional intelligence is. (13:41) 
  • Robin gives insight on how to use emotional intelligence as a manufacturing leader.
  • Robin discusses the importance of having your employees feeling great about wanting to work for your business. (20:45)
  • The 16 elements to emotional intelligence. (26:54)
  • Robin and Jim discuss how to help nurture your employees to accept change. (28:18)
  • The types of leaders you should look for to help grow your business. (34:35)
  • Robin shares insight on how she got into change and development. 

Mentioned on the Show:

Bring Entrepreneurial Advancements To Consumers Here In North America Act (H.R.6690)
Leaders Don't Have to Be Lonely: Eliminate the Loneliness by Leading Like a Coach (Book)
Jun 30, 2020

In business and in life we all experience pain we can’t control. Jim Carr reflects on the recent death of his parents and gives practical advice on how business leaders can prepare for personal loss and grief.



  • Jason Zenger talks about the recent trend of companies coming back to ZENGER’S from large national integrators and discusses the value of high-level customer service. (3:20)
  • Jason and Jim discuss manufacturing news about how the Reshoring Initiative aims to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. (5:15)
  • Jim discusses multi-generational machine shops and the importance of mitigating a personal and professional plan for when a leader passes on. (13:30)
  • Jason and Jim discuss the role of open communication in succession planning and the value of hiring of outside professionals to help. (18:10)
  • Jim discusses the importance of creating a trust to avoid probate and insulate assets from creditors. (24:30)
  • Jim answers Jason’s questions about the most valuable lessons he learned from his father. (28:30)
  • Jim discusses the evolution of leadership styles from his father’s generation to now and explains how creating core values and adapting to modern business practices has helped him navigate succession and loss. (32:15)


Mentioned on the Show:

Don’t Give Up on Bringing Manufacturing Back to the U.S. (article)

Bellicose Rhetoric (definition)

Jun 16, 2020

Co-hosts Jim Carr, Nick Goellner and Jason Zenger talk about their past experiences with fear in business, including navigating recession, unemployment, and the current pandemic, then offer seven steps for leading through fear, along with personal applications and examples. 



  1. Nick and Jim to talk about their most fearful time in business (1:30)
  2. Jim gives an update on Carr Machine Tool’s new business (5:15)
  3. Jason introduces manufacturing news about Apple’s manufacturing base (6:45)
  4. Jim, Nick and Jason talk about overcoming fear as business leaders and provide commentary on how taking certain steps have led to successful innovation, expansion and reinvention. (10:15)
  5. Jim, Nick, and Jason add their final thoughts and reflections. (27:40)


Mentioned on the show:

The Strategic Coach Podcast 

Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit, by Richard Rose


Related links:

Jun 9, 2020

Guest Steve Schubert, Chief Operating Officer at Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., talks with co-hosts Jim Carr, Nick Goellner, and Jason Zenger about his rise from high school apprentice to a manufacturing industry leader and provides advice and perspective on recruiting and training the next generation of manufacturers.



  • Jason provides a positive outlook on business-related changes prompted by COVID-19 (2:10)
  • Nick introduces manufacturing news about a recent drop in Europe’s automotive industry sales (4:05)
  • Guest Steve Schubert explains how he first got involved in manufacturing (10:00)
  • Steve discusses his experience with formal apprenticeship and gives some thoughts on alternative educational opportunities and what it will take to build future manufacturing leaders (21:00)
  • Steve gives insight into recruitment and discusses specific sources for finding future employees  (28:00)
  • Jason and Jim discuss whether or not it is the company’s responsibility to teach soft skills (33:00)
  • Steve provides advice on how small companies can benefit from apprenticeship programs and gives final thoughts on the benefits of a career in manufacturing (36:00)
  • Jim, Nick, and Jason provide final takeaways (42:00)


Mentioned on the show:

Rock River Valley Tooling and Machining Association

German Precision Tool Industry Projects Decline in Consumption

May 27, 2020

When it comes to your cutting tools, how do you know when it's time to resharpen or recycle? This week on the MakingChips podcast, hosts Jim Carr, Jason Zenger, and Nick Goellner discuss when and why you should consider resharpening your cutting tools as well as the cost to resharpen versus cost of buying brand new.

May 12, 2020

It’s tempting, in rapid response, to abandon procedures or suspend protocols in order to solve immediate crisis situations. This week’s guest, Noah Goellner, lean manufacturing expert and COO of Hennig Inc., provides practical methods for incorporating your company’s core values and internal processes to produce successful solutions, no matter the timeline or challenge.

Apr 30, 2020

MakingChips guest Jim Griffith, an employment attorney for HR Source, answers timely questions about individual state and federal marijuana laws, and provides manufacturing leaders with three action steps to help address management and human resources issues related to the use of legalized cannabis.

Apr 24, 2020

Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), talks with MC hosts Jim Carr, Nick Goellner, and Jason Zenger to provide insight into the current economic conditions for manufacturers during COVID-19 and offer an economic forecast for the future of our industry.

Apr 13, 2020

In a timely interview, Jim Carr, Nick Goellner, and Jason Zenger sit down with Cook County IL Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle, who oversees one of the nation’s largest public health and hospital systems as well as one of the nation’s largest criminal justice systems, to discuss details of the COVID-19 management and response, the CARES Act, and how to utilize current and future available resources to meet the demands of the crisis. 

Mar 31, 2020

Are there any positives in this pandemic? With social distancing, working from home, schools and businesses closing, and travel being restricted, the physical and psychological impact of COVID-19 is hitting us all. The MakingChips podcast has always focused on equipping and inspiring leaders in the manufacturing industry and we are not changing course now. In this episode, Jim Carr and Nick Goellner talk with guest Karl Koenigsberger, Business Development Manager at IRIS Factory Automation, about finding opportunities to improve services, products, and management during this unprecedented time of change and challenge.

Mar 24, 2020

In this week's MakingChips podcast, hosts Jason Zenger, Jim Carr, and Nick Goellner discuss the impact of today’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and consider its effect on the manufacturing industry, future investors, travel and much more.

Mar 10, 2020

When the family members running the family business comprise everyone from seasoned octogenarians to fresh-faced millennials, challenges arise that are not necessarily talked about in other industries. In this week’s MakingChips podcast, hosts Jim Carr, Jason Zenger and Nick Goellner (representing three separate generations) delve into some complex, and often emotional, leadership issues experienced in their own multigenerational family businesses, and provide guidance on how to navigate these delicate situations.

Mar 3, 2020

As business leaders, the way we respond to unforeseen issues and crises can put a spotlight on both strengths and vulnerabilities within our corporate practices, culture, and personal character. 



In this week’s MakingChips podcast, Jason Zenger challenges Jim Carr, Nick Goellner and the metalworking nation to examine the impact of today’s Coronavirus (CoV) pandemic, and consider its effect on the manufacturing industry as well as what can be learned from the way leaders around the world are reacting to this threat.  The guys discuss 4 points that every manufacturing leader can learn from this crisis as well as Xi Jinping, the paramount leader of the PRC, and the reaction from the Communist Party of China.

Feb 18, 2020

You are motivated, inspired and positive - your employee… not so much.
How can you turn around an employee who does not match the positive energy in your workplace?

In today’s episode of MakingChips, Jason Zenger, and Jim Carr, discuss a listener’s question and come up with 3 ways you can inspire your employees even if you’re new to your leadership role. Learn how to bring the energy, develop or redefine your core values, and find out what really drives your employees in this week’s new episode of MakingChips.


Feedback? Go to

Feb 11, 2020

Has anyone ever called you a control freak? Do you have trouble sharing responsibility? Is your inability to delegate holding back your potential?

Divide and conquer is the name of the game on today’s episode of MakingChips. Jason Zenger, Jim Carr and Nick Goellner take a look at how to become the best version of yourself by taking
simple steps such as learning to delegate and be more self-aware.

Learn how to identify workaholic traits in yourself and how to combat them with the MakingChips team.

Feb 4, 2020

What exactly is the multiplier effect? How does manufacturing positively impact the economy and our communities? What makes manufacturing and other “creation industries” different from service industries? 


In today’s episode of MakingChips, Jason Zenger tackles these questions and more as the MakingChips team dives into a listener question.  Do Jim Carr and Nick Goellner agree with the analysis?  Listen and let us know what you think!

Jan 25, 2020

This week’s guest on MakingChips, Federico Sciammarella, CTO at MxD, gives us an insider's glimpse of the “future factory” and offers practical ways to introduce digital to any size shop. Located in Chicago, MxD is one of 14 institutes that make up Manufacturing USA, a public-private funded partnership working to secure American manufacturing's future through innovation, education, and collaboration.

Jan 21, 2020

Sustainable growth for today’s manufacturing leader has as much to do with company values as it does with the value of your company. As industry leaders, setting meaningful personal and professional goals assure strong culture, inspire innovation and, ultimately, increase shareholder value. In this week’s MakingChips podcast, Jim Carr, Jason Zenger, and Nick Goellner each share the vision behind their own personal and professional goals for 2020 and provide inspiration on how to tackle the new year with meaning, purpose, and direction.

Listen to the "guys that get dirty on the factory floor" on all major audio platforms and channels.

Jan 14, 2020

What’s the one question to ask before making any investment decision?
As leaders in the industry we are dedicated to growth, yet with quality manufacturing relying so heavily on process, it often seems safer to keep doing things the way we always have. In today’s episode of MakingChips, Jason Zenger talks mergers, acquisitions, and good ways to grow with Mike Payne, President of Hill Manufacturing and Fabrication, who spent the first half of his career buying, managing, and selling dozens of companies across multiple industries before successfully acquiring a machine shop of his own.


Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify

Jan 7, 2020

A team of leaders who are not united will never reach their potential.  On today’s episode of MakingChips, the guys discuss the importance of team health after Jason Zenger shares an exercise he does with his leadership team at ZENGERS.  This exercise brings healthy conflict to the forefront of their end-of-year planning meetings. The process improves company culture and brings teams closer together by affirming what each member admires about each other and what they would like to see improved.  

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify

Dec 31, 2019

Quality management in the manufacturing industry should be high on your list of priorities. Carr Machine & Tool is going through the auditing process with ProShop ERP to prepare for the AS9100 certification they’d like to obtain. In this episode of MakingChips, the guys will talk with Paul Van Metre and Michael Collins about ProShop ERP, AS9100, and everything you need to know to prepare for getting your shop certified. 

Paul is the president of ProShop USA, and founder of Adion Systems, which develops ProShop, a web-based and paperless ERP, MES, QMS system specifically designed for elite companies in the metalworking industry. They partner with shops that seek to be elite and deliver cutting edge quality.

Michael is an implementation specialist at ProShop USA, who trains clients on how to effectively use and implement ProShop in their shops. In addition, Michael provides QMS consulting in the areas of compliance, documentation, auditing and achieving management system certification such as AS 9100. Michael is also an ASQ certified quality auditor. 

Connect with

ProShop takes quality management to a whole new level

ProShop describes itself as a Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem (DME) that combines quality management system (QMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), Computerized Maintenance Management System, and manufacturing execution system (MES) all in one

Not only is ProShop ERP an all-encompassing system you need for your manufacturing business, but they are also completely paperless. The system takes you into the 21st century and helps you manage everything in one system. 

This episode IS a shameless plug for ProShop because we 100% believe everyone needs to integrate it into their business—and we aren’t afraid to say it. 

What you need to do to get AS9100 certified

AS9100 is the international Quality Management System standard for the Aviation, Space and Defense (AS&D) industry (Rev D (2016) is the most recent version). If you want to work with the AS&D you must get your shop certified

So what does the AS9100 certification process look like? According to Michael, you simply start with a gap assessment. He’ll come in and ask questions, look at records and evaluate where your business is currently at as far as conforming to the AS9100 requirements. 

The gap assessment will help you narrow down where you need to focus and implement changes to become compliant with your quality management. According to Michael: “The whole idea of quality is continuous improvement”. 

It won’t be achieved in a day, but you can take ongoing steps. There is always something to be improved upon. Be sure to listen as Michael goes into detail. 

How does ProShop ERP simplify the auditing process? 

All of the records that Michael needs to audit can be found within ProShop. There is no navigating through different programs or—heaven forbid—paper files. He can follow the audit trail from one thing to the next in one seamless platform. 

ProShop cuts down the time it takes to do an audit to a third

Jim points out that as a business owner, this is a weight off your shoulders. There are so many other areas where your time is better spent and if you’re decreasing the time spent on an audit bt 66% it decreases anxiety. It also allows you to get back to what you need to do much faster.

Doing things paperless will become the new standard. An auditor can’t tell you that you have to use binders. Even if they aren’t familiar with ProShop, you can walk them through where to find any and all of the info they need. 

ProShop raises the bar when it comes to excellence in quality

ProShop integrated quality management into their system to benefit you. Here are just a few of the functionalities and updates they make that raise the bar: 

  • They help you integrate updates into your system as revisions are made to the standard. They are always updating their ‘Flying Start’ package to reflect regulation updates.
  • The integrate a vendor rating system so you can track the quality of the vendors that you work with. It always you to rank vendors on quality, communication, on-time delivery, and more. 
  • ProShop offers different options to help make sure your system is secure and follows ITAR regulations (on-site server or AWS GovCloud). 

We rely on ProShop ERP to automate our systems and help us go above and beyond expectations with the quality we deliver. 

Listen to the whole episode for valuable information on quality management, ProShop ERP, ASQ9100 certification and much more. 

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • What’s new at Carr Machine & Tool and Zenger’s & Black
  • Manufacturing News: Automated Metrology by Quality Magazine
  • Michael Collins and Paul Van Metre join Jason and Jim
  • How Michael got started in the manufacturing industry
  • What you need to do to get AS 9100 certified
  • Having ProShop ERP cuts audits down to ⅓ of the time
  • People Recognize that ProShop ERP is an efficient QMS system
  • A conversation about the ProShop vendor rating system
  • Is ProShop ERP a secure system?

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guests

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Dec 17, 2019

Is it possible to recession-proof a business? With all the chatter in the economic world about the potential of a recession, how do you mitigate your losses? Are their things that you can do up-front that would help you survive a recession? Jim and Jason discuss the ‘dirty word’ in the industry and some steps you can consider implementing before—or when—a recession hits. 

Connect with

Why are so many NOT worried about a recession? 

Many young people in the industry who dove into the workforce after 2008 don’t understand what it means to be in a recession. They haven’t lived through one. Those who remember what it felt like hate to talk or think about it. Jim points out that despite the emotion surrounding the word, it needs to be brought back into the vocabulary. Just because you avoid something doesn’t mean it won’t still happen. Jason and Jim emphasize that if you are educated and prepared a recession won’t impact you as much as it could. So what do you do?

If a recession IS coming, what do you do?

Jim notes that every recession he’s lived through “looks and feels a little bit different than the one before.'' The unfortunate reality is that we don’t know when a recession will come, how bad it will be, or how long it will last. When Jason’s Dad, Steve, led his business through a recession—he stopped taking a paycheck for a chunk of time.

If you’re a business owner, you will have to take some hits. It’s inevitable.

Jason’s dad knew he had to protect his business and employees, so he stopped paying himself to get them through the economic downturn. One way to mitigate the harshness of this reality in your own life is to build up a nest-egg. Create a savings account in case of a recession that can see you, your family, and your business through to the other side. 

Labor is the #1 biggest cost in the manufacturing industry

If cutting your pay isn’t enough to mitigate the financial losses, you have to address the elephant in the room: you might have to let someone go. It’s not easy to do, but sometimes it has to be done. It comes with the territory of being a business owner. It may come down to, “Who can we afford to lose?”. 

Sometimes, there is a clear path. Steve Zenger had to ‘trim the fat’ in the last recession and fire a few people who were under-performing or unwilling to help them make it through the recession. If you’re not at the point where you need to make some layoffs, a tip to save some money is to reduce overtime. If you can’t afford to pay your team, you certainly can’t afford to pay time-and-a-half. 

Reduce your overhead costs and develop sales skills

Jason currently pays rent on three different locations for his business. He questions if a recession hits, could he consolidate locations to reduce overhead? Another option the guys point out is relocating the business somewhere with lower rent. 

During the last recession, Jason’s Dad took him out for lunch, and point-blank asked: “What are you going to do about this?”. Jason wasn’t going to sit back and cry. Instead, he developed a passion for sales. If business wasn’t finding him, he was going to do everything possible to bring it in. 

A recession is difficult to talk about, but Jim and Jason agree it’s stuff you need to know. A business owner must do everything they can to prepare. To hear the rest of their suggestions regarding surviving a recession, listen to the whole episode of MakingChips!

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Recession is a dirty word in the industry
  • The potential of the electric vehicle
  • Text CHIPS to 38470 to subscribe to the Boring Bar Newsletter!
  • America’s largest truck engine manufacturer is laying off 2,000 people
  • Mitigating the risks that come with a recession
  • When it comes down to reducing your labor force
  • Jim and Jason discuss ways to lower your overhead costs
  • Don’t get used to a lifestyle of expensive living
  • Consider outsourcing work that isn’t profitable

Tools & Takeaways

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Dec 10, 2019

Today’s guest on the MakingChips podcast is passionate about job creation in the manufacturing industry. Today’s youth are being pushed towards college degree—while racking up debt—which has led to $1.6 trillion in student loan debt in the country. It is staggering. Unfortunately, many students spend the majority of their working life paying off that debt. 

Jon Klinepeter left a career as a Pastor to start Forrest Bradshaw Industries and the Better Good Group. His goal is to offer underprivileged youth a shot in an industry that is screaming for more labor. To hear more about his heart and mission in manufacturing, listen to the whole episode of MakingChips now!

Connect with

Jon’s journey from Ministry to Machining

Jon Klinepeter spent 22 years as a Pastor in Chicago (and Minneapolis, MN). He had a passion and love for the people he worked with. He was an advocate in his community. His faith has always been very important to him—but he didn’t love the church organizational structure. So he completed an MBA in Strategy and Innovation.

Then, he bought a 38-year-old CNC Machining company from a Polish Immigrant. 

But why machining? Jon’s grandfather was his hero growing up, and had spent his life as a machinist. According to Jon, what drew him in was “The intellect being expressed through your hands rather than through an education system that rewards a certain type of thinking”. He wanted to build a business with that thought in mind.

A passion for job creation

Jon’s passion is job creation, and he knows the manufacturing industry is constantly growing. Not only is it growing, but being a CNC machinist is the highest paying career you can have without a college degree. Jon wanted to take that knowledge and start creating generational opportunities for underprivileged youth.

Nothing brings him greater joy than seeing the look of hope on someone’s face when they’ve been offered a job they never thought remotely possible. The purpose of Forrest Bradshaw is to inspire hope for a better future through living wage job opportunities in precision metal manufacturing.

100,000 jobs for at-risk youth is possible

With his purpose and vision for Forrest Bradshaw, he launched an initiative to create 100,000 jobs for at-risk youth across the country. He wanted to inspire hope for a better future through living wage job opportunities in precision metal manufacturing. He’s watched thousands of kids walking into job fairs scared and hopeless, but leaving full of hope. 

What is being offered is more than just a job, but a future

Many kids don’t have the right guidance or mentors available to them. Those of us fortunate enough to have parents that were available had a safety net. Parents are ongoing mentors throughout our lives—but many underprivileged youths don’t get that. Providing jobs gives them hope for the next generation. 

A business owner must lead with Integrity

With his core vision in mind, Jon knew he had to build a business with his values at the center of everything he did. The foundational value he chose to build Forrest Bradshaw on was integrity. At times, practicing integrity can seem counter-cultural. Jon reminisced about getting some machinery fixed:

The company giving him a quote for the job (that the insurance was going to cover) asked him what cut that he wanted from the quote. 

With his team waiting to see what his response would be, he responded “Just whatever it costs, bill us for that”. Your integrity will cost you something. That would’ve been easy money in his pocket. Instead, he chose to honor his core values and lead with integrity. 

To hear the rest of Jon’s mission, vision, core values, and advice for leaders in manufacturing, listen to the whole episode! 

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • What would Jim do if he wasn’t at Carr Machine & Tool?
  • What’s happening at Carr Machine & Tool 
  • What’s new at Zenger & Black
  • Subscribe to the Boring Bar Newsletter!
  • Manufacturing News: Mike Rowe weighs in on student debt
  • Why Jon Klinepeter left ministry for machining
  • The purpose of Forrest Bradshaw Industries
  • The core values Jon embraces in his business
  • Jon’s advice for aspiring manufacturing leaders
  • We chat with Mark at Xometry about ITAR compliant vs. registered

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Dec 3, 2019

Employee onboarding can be stressful and it’s hard to know what you should or shouldn’t be doing. What do you tell a new hire on day one? Do you start the process before their first day? When do you do performance reviews? The list of questions goes on! Today, Jim and Jason are going to walk you through the Carr Machine & Tool onboarding experience. 

Connect with

Hiring Millennials: A new era of employee onboarding?

The overarching number of people applying to machinist jobs are millennials. For those of us in a different generation, do we need to change the way we onboard? According to Jungohr, there are some tips to make the process more successful. 

  1. Get on-board with preboarding: You can send the employee handbook and have them fill out the necessary paperwork before day one.
  2. Begin relationship-building: One fun way? Have them listen to the MakingChips Podcast!
  3. Clearly communicate: Communication is key to a successful onboarding process (this, of course, applies to every generation)
  4. Establish a sense of purpose: Millennials want to feel as if they are contributing to the greater good of the company and the world. Foster an environment where they know they are!

Many of these points apply to every generation, but it’s been found to be especially impactful to Millennials. Let us know what YOU think!

How to gauge if the potential hire is the best fit

At Carr Machine & Tool, Jim has several ways to see if a potential hire is a fit for their culture. If he has a good feeling about a candidate, he will bring them into his weekly production meeting to see how they interact with the team.

He also enjoys walking a candidate through the shop to see how they interact and engage with people. This could be labeled as “pre-boarding”—he’s involving the potential hire in his company culture before officially hiring. 

If they’re not interested in engaging and don’t make an effort, you can end the process before it’s even started. It may seem time-consuming on the front-end but can save a lot of pain and problems throughout the next 30, 60, or 90 days.

Make performance reviews meaningful 

On a new hire’s first day, Jim lays out what the process looks like, and schedules a 30-day performance review. The first 30 days is a sort of trial period to see how they acclimate. There is no goal-setting or anything that would place pressure on the candidate. You want them to spend time shadowing (and there’s a lot of hand-holding) and learning new processes. 

Jim makes sure to ask 6 different questions in the first performance review. He wants to let them know if they are on-par with expectations and see how they think they’re doing. Jim will even let them know if they are performing below expectations. The goal isn’t to be critical, but to let them know that you are going to take an active role in their success. 

When should you do a compensation review? Listen to find out!

Regular performance reviews are a proven process for success

Within the first year an employee is hired, Jim does performance reviews at 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, and at the one-year mark. These reviews are based on goals they’ve set, improvements that were recommended, and so forth. If the employee has proven themselves exceptional, they reward the employee with a pay increase

It allows the employee to learn new skills and be goal-driven. 

The goal is to help your team members feel more connected and that they have a safe environment to grow in—you want to help them reach the next level of expertise. When you schedule reviews in a formulaic manner, it’s a structured way for both you and the employee to constantly move forward. 

To hear some mistakes to avoid, be sure to listen to the rest of the episode!

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • What’s new at Zenger!
  • Subscribe to our newsletter: text CHIPS to 38470
  • 4 Proven Ways to Successfully Onboard Millennial Employees
  • The onboarding process at Carr Machine & Tool
  • Check out Xometry’s helpful design guides!
  • A proven process that works for Carr
  • Mistakes to avoid making during reviews

Tools & Takeaways

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

Nov 26, 2019

This re-release of one of our most popular episodes includes never released bonus content about development, retention strategies, compensation techniques and much more. Our returning guest, Jess Giudici, packs a punch with her on-point advice and skillful mastery of employee development. If you’re ready to grow and retain a team of motivated and fulfilled employees, don’t miss this special episode!

Connect with us:

Create development paths that aren’t leadership specific

Human Resources (HR) is a faction of every company and the roles within HR can vary. On one hand, they must be focused on protecting the business. But new-school HR is about recruitment, development, training, and retention. As an employer, it is your job to make sure that the employees you’ve recruited feel understood and fulfilled in their role. 

One means of doing that is crafting different development paths that allow team members to grow—that aren’t necessarily leadership. Not everyone wants to climb the career ladder with the end goal of being in leadership. How can you help individuals grow in their roles, take on more responsibility, or become more technically proficient? 

To hear some of the questions that Jess recommends asking to gauge what an employee desires for their career path, keep listening!

The conversation about compensation 

Jess recommends having “touch-point” conversations with employees throughout the year where you gauge their engagement level and offer support. Sometimes, they may feel content with the role that they’re playing and aren’t looking to take on increased responsibility. Jess points out that this is great if they’re consistently achieving what is expected of them.

But the guys ask—what if they want more money with no added responsibility?

Jess takes the challenging question head-on, recommending that you be ready and equipped to answer. She points out that it’s okay to implement salary caps for positions and clearly define up-front that you understand the desire for a raise, but they are at the high end of the payscale for their position. If they would like more compensation you can start the conversation but be sure they’re aware that includes increasing responsibilities. 

Jason, Jim, and Jess continue to talk about fair market value, offers from competition, and employee engagement. Don’t miss it!

You need to implement two separate reviews

Many businesses tend to do an “annual review” to assess employee performance and converse about the “expected” raise. Jess believes these conversations need to be split up. The annual review should only be about performance. It should be tying up loose ends regarding the conversations you’ve had throughout the year. Center the review around development and engagement. Be sure the employee knows that compensation is not part of this conversation, and they will be more engaged and open. 

Compensation needs to be addressed separately, even perhaps as the employee is exceeding what is expected of them. Often, there is an expectation that an employee will get a “cost-of-living” raise, but this isn’t always the case. Your team needs to know that if they are exhibiting behaviors that detract from their productivity and performance, they may not get the expected raise. Jess points out that the team members should know that their performance has been lacking—it shouldn’t come as a surprise—and that you will work with them to further develop. Perhaps they’ll see that raise at a later date as they improve. 

The guys open up a tough conversation about some of their pet peeves about expected yearly raises. Be sure to listen!

Understanding employee turnover and developing retention strategies

In most cases, Jim and Jason aren’t surprised when an employee announces they’re leaving, but sometimes it comes as a surprise. If an employee decides to leave unexpectedly, it’s important to know why. Were they engaged? Did they receive sufficient training? Did their pay scale not match the market? All of these questions can be incorporated into an exit interview. It allows you to reflect on your processes and making changes where necessary. 

But how do you avoid employee turnover?

Jess advocates for giving your employees a voice. When someone is employed in a culture where they feel validated and understood, they are likely to feel fulfilled in their role. You can cultivate a culture that gives everyone a voice while aligning with your core values. Hold round-table discussions, ask for feedback or have employees complete surveys—then be prepared to implement changes. This helps your team feel heard and respected.

Jess, Jason, and Jim talk in detail about developing a culture of engagement in this episode. If you’re ready to create a company culture where no one wants to leave, this is the episode for you! 

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Uniting your team under the goal to constantly improve. 
  • Manufacturing news: Millennials’ Skeptical About Manufacturing Careers
  • Jess Giudici is back with the Metal Working Nation!
  • Fostering a love of personal and company growth through HR development. 
  • Understanding the individual: what drives your employees?
  • What if someone doesn’t want to climb the career ladder?
  • Balancing formal and informal development conversations. 
  • Separating performance and pay reviews. 
  • Understanding why people leave and why people stay. 
  • Creating and cultivating a great company culture. 
  • Bonus content: Compensation techniques with Jess Giudici. 
  • Automated quoting process with Greg Paulson of Xometry
  • Keeping file sharing ITAR compliant 

Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest: Jess Giudici

Connect With MakingChips

Subscribe to Making Chips on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 10