Premium Associate Member Spotlight: Frontline Training Solutions

This article appeared in the May/Jun 2024 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Attracting and retaining talent remains one of the greatest challenges for manufacturers — but it doesn’t have to be. Businesses that can navigate these challenges by adapting to the needs of workers in today’s world can create environments that are desirable to both new and seasoned employees.

Career expectations have changed drastically in recent years. Employees want to work somewhere where they feel valued, where they have opportunities for training and career advancement and where the management team understands the importance of work-life integration, says Janis Petrini, Founder and Co-Owner of Grand Rapids-based Frontline Training Solutions.

“Companies that do that well are going to win the battle for retention because they become what we call ‘destination employers,’” says Petrini, who also owns an Express Employment Professionals/Specialized Recruiting Group franchise, all three of which fall under the Express Employment International umbrella.

Best Advice I Ever Got

Never give up. As a business owner, your employees count on you to lead with everyone, in everything, everywhere with this mindset.

Frontline Training Solutions provides essential resources that develop the skills of managers as well as cultivate employees into high-functioning leaders — a key building block for employee engagement and business growth. Frontline provides solutions via leadership development, team development and one-on-one coaching through programs such as a Supervisor Boot Camp, Operations/Lean Consulting and Human Resources Consulting.

“Companies that invest in training and development have higher performing employees, higher engagement and higher retention rates,” Petrini says. “Companies are making a commitment to invest in leaders in all levels — and that includes frontline leaders. How a company manages the employee experience from the time they fill out an application all the way through the lifecycle of an employee’s time in that company is so critical.”

Many times, high-performing employees become leaders but they aren’t equipped with all of the relevant technical skills or core competencies, especially in very niche manufacturing businesses. Petrini says some of the core competencies that employers are promoting and that Frontline helps to nurture include:

  • High levels of emotional intelligence
  • Creating a culture of accountability
  • Being a leader who can give and receive feedback effectively
  • Being a leader who can be a culture ambassador for the company
  • Being able to assess effective relationships

“We’re seeing a lot more attention on those types of things today than in the past, especially in that frontline leader,” Petrini says. “We’re seeing some really high levels of care coming into the workplace. It creates a sense of belonging that employees need to be able to thrive at work and home.”

Best Part of My Job

Helping people reach their potential — it is very rewarding to see people thrive in work and life.

In Michigan, the 25 Express Employment Professionals offices employed almost 19,000 people at 1,670 companies. An additional part of the enterprise’s value, therefore, is that clients can work with a nearby business owner who has local expertise, while also staying informed about pertinent workplace and workforce trends from around the world via a global network of experts, Petrini says.

Through insights gained over more than 40 years, Express Employment Professionals has assisted countless manufacturers in advancing their recruitment, retention and workforce development efforts.

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