When Lori Lorant was appointed Vice President Human Resources at ARCH in September 2019, she brought experience, skill and a uniquely inclusive HR philosophy to her role.
“I believe that leaders must remain humble and that they must always remain ready to pitch-in, doing whatever is necessary, no matter their title or position,” Lorant said. “I’m fortunate to be with a company that makes that philosophy part of its way of doing business.”
Lorant spent nearly five years with ARCH before her appointment as Vice President – Human Resources and previously served as Employee Relations Manager and Director of Human Resources. She is an experienced Human Resources professional with a history of success in the mechanical engineering industry. She is skilled in talent management, employee relations, strategic planning, succession planning, multi-site- and -state HR leadership, due diligence relating to M&A activity, and on-boarding and the integration of employees from new companies.
Prior to joining ARCH, Lorant spent more than 15 years as an HR Manager in the retail consumer goods industry, with corporate, retail store and buying operations HR responsibilities.
The challenge in manufacturing
The greatest HR challenge in manufacturing is recruitment and retention, according to Lorant.
“There is a great deal of risk to organizations with the aging workforce,” she said. “Companies must treat people well and facilitate the transfer of knowledge from senior employees to new recruits and stay engaged as those new recruits work through the issues and challenges of that transfer.”
Lorant noted that it’s critical for leaders to keep employees motivated through support and understanding, to act as sponsors and mentors, when necessary. Why? Because the success of a company depends on the success of its employees.
“It’s also my job to identify resources that develop strong leaders, to help them deal with the issues of leadership,” she added. “In that sense, my job has a dual purpose – to motivate and support opportunities, and to address issues in a thoughtful, direct manner to make the company and its employees as successful and productive as possible.
Relationship building is important to that success, Lorant noted.
“I enjoy building and fostering relationships that are built on trust and respect,” she said. “My personal philosophy is to be a trusted resource within the company who promotes a culture in which people feel safe, are encouraged to work hard and speak up about issues that concern them, and in which people treat each other with respect to promote their mutual success.”
Women in manufacturing
Lorant also said it is gratifying to represent the women within her organization and within the manufacturing industry overall.
“It’s important that the industry knows that there is a place for strong women in manufacturing,” she said. “Opportunity and success are based on skills, ability and ambition, not on gender.”
Ms. Lorant earned her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services from Central Michigan University, and she holds SHRM – SCP certification through the Society for Human Resource Management.