Successful production demands the greatest volume of output with the least amount of effort. It is of prime importance in industry, and its slogan is the elimination of waste, considering always the worker, surroundings, equipment and tools and the methods or motions used. Therefore, it is necessary to give attention to training employes in production work. The paper evaluates training in terms of production and formulates the elements that have proved effective, the aims of such training being to develop a better worker in the particular job, to produce a better member of industry and to create a better member of society.
The worker always must be judged with relation to his work, and no more important psychological test exists than that of aptitude for the job. The surroundings, equipment and tools warrant intensive study, but great care must be taken to avoid duplication of work already done and to make use of the advice of experts regarding heating, ventilating, fatigue and posture. The chief emphasis must be placed on methods or motions used, and these must be carefully investigated, standardized, and taught, considering the factors of teaching under the headings what is to be taught and who is to teach it; and when, where, how and why it is to be taught.
The “what is to be taught” includes consideration of the problem of industry itself, of the plant and of the department in which the worker is, of the operations that he performs and the like. It involves a study of both the aptitude and the handicaps of the learner, and covers Fatigue Study, Motion Study and Skill Study. The method of attack includes the elimination of motions and fatigue, the simplification of methods, the standardization of accepted practice and the maintenance of the “one best way” that has been standardized.
Transference of skill is the primary concern of the teaching, which considers constantly the “therbligs” or elements of motions that are the units by which skill is measured. Teaching can be done by any worker, although this is seldom profitable because the worker may have no training in teaching and has seldom an incentive to teach. It can be done by the foreman, who has both time and incentive, but is seldom trained. It can be done profitably by a training department, through supplementary courses or by an expert who understands both teaching and the work to be taught.
Training should not be confined to any one period. It should start in the employment department, with the selection of the worker and making him acquainted with the work he is to do. It should continue through the training period and through constant follow-up during the entire life of the worker in the industry. Meetings, both within and without the organization, assist in the training and are a valuable stimulus. A certain amount of training can be done profitably in the laboratory or department of training, but much must be done at the workplace itself, under the actual working conditions and with the working incentives. This is so important that teachers should themselves be retrained at stated intervals under plant working-conditions to make sure that the instructions meet the actual practical needs.
Every possible vehicle of instruction should be used; the eyes, the ears, and the motor senses should be trained. Both the micromotion and cyclegraph methods appeal to many senses and build up an adequate learning process. Fatigue always must be considered in all training. Eye fatigue must especially be avoided by blindfold teaching and by using the hearing and other senses whenever possible. Great emphasis must be laid on teaching the learner to think in terms of motions and elements of motions. This is the most valuable result of the type of training here advocated, and is a specific means of evaluating training for production.
It is because of the importance of the transference of skill that teaching is such a vital element of efficient production. None but the best teaching is suited to industrial needs. Progress along this line in the last 10 years is most encouraging and, instead of tracing the effects of education in schools and colleges upon industrial education, we may expect to find marked traces of the effects of training in industry upon school practice.
The result of the teaching here advocated is a definite increase in training in industry. Illustrations of the applications of the methods outlined in various industrial fields, especially in the automotive industry, prove that output can be increased many times through efficient teaching. While these results show the needs of other factors in scientific management besides teaching, they never could have been attained without the teaching, no matter what the changes in working conditions. Further, while efficiency from the motion-study standpoint is not the only test of efficiency of teaching for production work, such teaching does make possible the evaluation of existing practice, which is the first step in progress.