Although real time information helps predict problems and provide proactive information, reporting lagging indicators is still an important safety practice. While there are literally dozens of benchmarks manufacturers could monitor to help track quality and safety in the workplace, we’ve honed in on five specific metrics that will help drive your bottomline.
Behavioral Economics Helps Companies Identify What Really Motivates Employees
Have you ever asked an employee to take on a special assignment in exchange for a cash bonus and assume you’ll see a job well done - only to be disappointed by their lack of interest or action? It’s not unusual according to the science of behavioral economics. The mind can be difficult to navigate, according to a white paper from Corvex, as the field of behavioral economics teaches us that human decision-making is often irrational and that willingness to comply is influenced by a number of heuristics and biases.
Five Fast Tips To Keep Things Moving in the Right Direction
Just over a decade ago, companies weren’t even talking about an employee value proposition (EVP). Today, however, is a different story. The acronym is a hot buzzword at businesses around the world because the workforce and competitive environment has shifted drastically. A company’s value proposition for its employees is now more important than ever though it is not something that should be etched in stone as some experts suggest transitioning to a more fluid approach. One that can change depending on employee feedback and business alignment. As a manufacturer, you should already be going beyond the basics of sharing salary and competitive benefits to better defining your culture, career opportunities and actual day-to-day work experience.
A CIO Driven Approach Helps Avoid Pitfalls
The digital age offers incredible new experiences and opportunities both internally and externally for today’s manufacturers. Technology continues to transform how companies do business by enabling more sophisticated communication with employees and customers, but it’s not always without stumbling blocks. Enterprise- or facility-wide changes should be communicated properly for an organization to experience the least amount of resistance. Employee acceptance and commitment to change is a critical piece of the puzzle. According to Techopedia, the key is to prioritize how technology facilitates a more seamless employee experience first and then showcases how it can drive toward broader business objectives.
Leveling Up To 6S a Risk Worth Taking
In a recent blog post, we addressed the 5S Lean manufacturing process – which is brilliantly simple and effective with its sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain approach. But this process can be made even more effective by the addition of a 6th S – safety. While it may seem intuitive that each stage’s adoption enables a safer workspace, re-evaluating the 5S cycle with a specific eye toward safety enables further improvements and changes on the facility floor.
According to EHS Today, advancing to a 6S organization means manufacturers would need to conduct an OSHA approved risk assessment during each of the five steps, which enables them to rank and address certain risk factors and create preventative measures. This is a systematic approach to identify significant safety hazards across the entire workspace. It assesses the likelihood and potential severity should an accident occur and provides steps for implementing control measures. A risk matrix can be used to outline the level of consequences from negligible injuries to fatalities and also to rank the likelihood of an incident happening, from highly unlikely to very likely.
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Employee Engagement Strategies for Retaining and Keeping the Next-Generation Workforce
As a manufacturing company, you’ve undoubtedly spent time focusing on how to appeal to today’s Millennials. According to an article in Forbes, this generation, which ranges between the ages of 22 and 37, currently account for 50 percent of the workforce and will comprise nearly 75 percent by 2025. Yet, there has been much conversation about how to keep Millennials on the job as they’ve also been dubbed the “Job Hopping” generation by Gallup. Three in five Millennials are open to a new job and 21 percent have changed jobs within the past year.
Part of the reason is reportedly due to low on-the-job engagement – some are simply showing up and tuning out. So, what can you do to ensure you are not just attracting but also retaining talent?
5S - Principle so Basic it’s Brilliant
Lean manufacturing efforts have been around for more than a century but perhaps there are none quite as simple and effective as the 5S (five-step) method. 5S was designed to eliminate waste, improve cleanliness and enhance quality control at a manufacturers’ most basic levels.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, when executed correctly the 5S lean manufacturing system will enhance productivity and minimize the use of excess material. By following the five-step process and using its visual cues, leaders and workers at manufacturing facilities can experience a more orderly workplace and improve operational performance.
The 5S method is reported to have made its manufacturing debut post WWII as part of the Toyota Total Production System process and has been implemented at manufacturing facilities around the world. The root of this methodology came from Kaizen – the system of constant improvement and a key part of lean manufacturing. Kaizen is actually a Japanese term that means “the real place” so it’s no surprise the rally cry for 5S is “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It was implemented with the notion that most improvement and competitive success will come from efficiencies created on the factory floor.
What Each S Pillar Stands For
So, what do all the “S’s” stand for?
Research shows that worker powered communities within organizations deliver stronger workplaces with less waste, higher quality and better safety
Employee engagement has undoubtedly been a hot topic in recent months. As we head into the new year, it will certainly remain a key focus as companies look to adopt new technologies and management strategies to drive not only a culture, but a community of high performance. In other words - a worker-powered workplace.
While companies may be investing heavily in worker engagement programs, according to Harvard Business Review those seeing real change are going beyond the typical employee engagement surveys and driving worker engagement at all levels through more consistent touch points. They are focused on long term worker-powered strategies and experiences designed to drive retention and increase satisfaction. Simply put, having an environment that truly invests in its workers so that they are motivated and engaged results in innumerable benefits not just for employees but for the employer as well.
Writer Martin Murray began his career developing supply chain software and has experience with supply chain and ERP implementation projects in industries including aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, electronics, chemical, and consumer product goods. Martin has published eight books on supply chain topics in ERP software and his articles have appeared in a number of publications, including SCM Expert magazine and Maritime Gateway magazine.
For anyone interested in lean manufacturing principles, Murray has written an excellent primer on the concept and importance of reducing resource waste for more efficient and effective manufacturing. The excerpt below is followed by a link to the rest of the article.
The Origins and Principles of Lean Manufacturing
By Martin Murray
The push towards lean manufacturing originates from the Toyota Production System which is often referred to as Just In Time (JIT) Production. The Toyota Company became successful after World War 2 when Japanese factory owners adopted a number of American production and quality techniques. The manufacturing techniques of Henry Ford and the Statistical Quality Control ideas of Edwards Deming became the foundation of Toyota’s production process.
Unlike the American automotive industry, Toyota encouraged employees to be a part of the production process. The company introduced quality circles, which was a group of workers who meet to discuss workplace improvement. Quality circle members make presentations to management with regarding the quality of production. Read the rest of the article here.