The main problem that Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana, commonly known as TMMI, faces in the training and development of its employees is getting their group leaders trained. This program is structured so the group leaders can learn decision-making, leadership, communicating, problem-solving, and analytical skills to bridge the gap between the upper management and the team members on the assembly line. The problem with getting group leaders trained is the fact that they also work on the line. The production of vehicles is the primary reason they are there, and it is very hard to pull them away from the line to train them. This does not make sense in an automobile manufacturing plant, but the production of vehicles gets in the way of the training of group leaders. Kirkpatrick’s A Practical Guide for Supervisory Training and Development mentions that the main issue with on-the-job training is the actual job itself. On-the-job training is the main type of training that is used at this time, so TMMI is “up to speed” with everyone else with the training program they are using. It is just a matter of “getting the bugs worked out” of the program since they are such a new company.
TMMI is located in Princeton, Indiana, which is approximately 25 miles north of Evansville on Highway 41. They first opened their doors in 1997 for the development of orientation. In February of 1998, team members started to enter the plant for the first time. In September of the same year, the supervisory program was introduced at Toyota. To begin training, group leaders were brought from the Kentucky plant, as well as from Japan, in order to instill the correct corporate culture into TMMI’s team members. Some managers of the TMMI plant were sent to Japan for training at the Toyota headquarters. Toyota of Indiana was to specialize in the production of the Tundra pickup truck and this process began in December of 1998. This was initially the only vehicle to be built in Princeton, but now the plant is being expanded to produce the new Sequoia sports utility vehicle that Toyota is adding to its line. The Siena mini van, which is currently made at the Kentucky plant, will also be produced at TMMI in the near future. When the expansion is complete, Toyota will provide work for over 4300 Souther...
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...ked together. It was easier once we knew how everyone else’s work ethics and how they usually went about trying to solve problems and tackling assignments. The only thing that really changed about the way our group worked was we started taking initiative and grabbing parts of the project to finish. Overall, this project has been a huge learning experience for all of us.
Davis, Tom-TMMI Group Leader. Personal Interview. March 2000.
Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1971). A Practical Guide for Supervisory Training and Development. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
Nowack, K.M., Hartley, J., and Bradley, W. (1999). “How to Evaluate Your 360 Feedback
Efforts”. Training & Development, Vol.53.
“Supervisory training program available”. (1996). Air Conditioning Heating & Refrigeration News, Vol.197, p.101.
Uiterwijk, J. (1998). “Test Center Comparison: Web-based training solutions; The virtual classroom; Education is the key to a motivated and loyal workforce, but it is the first to go in a budget crisis”. InfoWorld, Vol. 20.
Wilson, Tracy-HR, Training and Development. Telephone Interview. January 2000.
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