An innovative Minneapolis injection molder has devised what she claims is the key to retaining good employees, and has caught the attention of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
With a multimedia program she created, Maureen Steinwall aims to stop the revolving door of disillusioned new employees leaving within two weeks of their hiring.
Orientation is the key to retaining employees, said Steinwall, president and owner of Steinwall Inc.
``Not training. Not literacy. Orientation,'' she said.
Steinwall speaks from experience.
The national average for employee turnover is 12 percent, according to the University of Wisconsin Center for Community Economic Development. Steinwall Inc. went from a 1995 full-time employee turnover rate of 67 percent to 45 percent and 24 percent in succeeding years, with almost all of the improvement in the zero-to-one-year category, she said.
The company's rate is 10 percent so far in 1998. Steinwall Inc. employs 60 and has annual sales of about $8 million. It operates 19 injection presses with clamping forces of 28-300 tons and occupies a 52,000-square-foot facility.
Steinwall, who has a master's degree in business administration, began exploring the retention issue in 1984. By 1995, she was using a 20-hour, 25-segment program with her firm's new employees. When she received an SPI Midwest Section employee-training award of excellence in May 1996, some of her peers asked about buying the program.
Washington-based SPI is providing financial support and technical, legal and communications assistance and will have exclusive rights to the finished product for the plastics industry. SPI is accepting $4,000 pre-release orders from the first 100 companies. Subsequently, SPI members will pay $5,000 and nonmembers, $10,000.
Steinwall said 28 companies signed up as of July 28. Most are injection molders, but she also has orders from material suppliers, mold makers, thermoformers and a pipe extruder.