Did you know that your leadership style may be affecting your Overall Equipment Effectiveness? A highly engaged and motivated workforce is the one single distinguishing trait of the top companies in industry today. Most leaders and managers alike recognize that having the right people on the team are key to the success of their companies. The vision and mission statements of many companies include statements like “… our people are our greatest asset …” or “… we will attract and retain the best talent …” If we believe these statements are true , then we would envision a working environment where everyone is an engaged team member of a seamless organization that is fully supported by the management team. Does this describe the culture of your organization?
What does this have to do with OEE?
LEAN is a CULTURE and one of the key metrics of lean is OEE. So, could it be that OEE is a direct reflection of the culture that exists in your company? What are the trends showing? Does the data reflect a high-velocity company striving to improve its operations to become the new definition of agile or lean? Who is leading the charge to improve performance? Where is your team? If your team isn’t behind you – where are they?
What motivates your employees to bring themselves to work everyday? Their motivation to work is probably not the same as your reason for being in business. This presents one of the first challenges that the management team will have to address – aligning company and employee goals where they become synonymous and mutually beneficial. This doesn’t mean we’re going to rewrite the business plan, but rather, we relate how achieving company goals will enable the employee to achieve theirs. The key is making your company the place where they want to work – a company they can be proud of and even more so because they are a part of its continuing success.
We contend that self-motivated employees work harder – they take the initiative to get things done – quickly. Many operations are dependent on people who control their level of productivity. It can be a difficult challenge to motivate people to work harder than their own perceived value. The resistance to improve is rooted in the expectation that people will be required to do more work for the same value. If you are operating in a union environment, the employees tend to be more sensitive to changes in their work structure.
In contrast to their external behavior, people want to be challenged and they are willing and wanting to do more. However, they will not automatically give you their discretionary effort unless they have earned your trust and respect first. Without it, they will only give you the value of what they think their time is worth. Becoming interested in what people are doing, acknowledging their performance and treating them with respect is at the core of an instant turnaround.
When people become engaged and their achievements are recognized they will take ownership of their operation. OEE results will improve as employees suggest ways to improve their processes and strive to achieve new goals. None of this will happen unless the executives and senior management team take an active role to become part of the action.
How to get your Instant Turnaround
We just completed a review of Instant Turnaround: Getting people excited about coming to work and working hardby Harry Paul and Ross Reck, PH.D. You will learn how to tap into and harness the discretionary effort of everyone on your team. This book tells a story that reveals how your leadership style and that of your front line management team affects and directly impacts the performance of your team. This leadership style works. A lean culture is dependent on the engagement and effective interactions of all of your employees – including the executive management. This book teaches a simple yet powerful strategy to tap into and harness the discretionary effort that every employee is wanting and willing to give – if the conditions are right.
What is your leadership style?
A true leader is and holds people accountable, works with integrity, is approachable, listens, inspires, smiles, and even knows how to have fun. The list of leadership traits and characteristics is long and many great leaders would count themselves as falling short on many of them. If your team shares mutual respect and trust, you are working in great company. If your team fears you, why should they stay? Remember, most people want to belong to a winning team! If you manage by walking around (MBWA), you will certainly have an opportunity to communicate your praise and expectations to your team. They will respond in kind!
Until Next Time – STAY lean!