How did one client boost output on one of their production lines? Simple, it began with the question, “At what speed is this machine designed to run?” The answer was surprising – the machine was running at 30% less than it could have been running. There can be some good reasons to run a machine at less than it is capable of – balancing the throughput of the overall line speed or avoiding breakdowns, but in many cases these decisions are arbitrary.
By simply asking the question and answering it, the production rate jumped 30%. Why was the machine speed set below its capabilities? Because only engineering knew the capability of the machine. By sharing this information with production, the employees and their supervisors became aware of what the line could run at and they made it happen.
Employees Want to Make a Difference and Improve Their Score
If we begin with the basic assumption that the vast majority of employees want to do a good job and care about the company’s success, then we need to dig deeper and see how we as leaders might be actually holding back the employees from making improvements.
A basic principle of human motivation is that we want to make a difference and develop a sense of mastery. Keeping score helps employees and their leaders to understand how they can improve.
Linking Machine Monitoring and Employee Motivation
Through our strategic relationship with FreePoint Technologies, we’ve learned that many production processes produce at far less than they could. This idle time is an opportunity hiding in plain site. The reason is that most employees and their supervisors don’t know how much time the machine is adding value (making money) versus the time it is available.
What FreePoint does is measure specifically when a machine is making money versus when it is just sitting there.
The reason we’ve decided to align ourselves with FreePoint is because leaders don’t always know how to harness the motivation that can come from measuring the machine.
Putting the Idea Into Action
Instead of simply comparing your output to yesterday or last year, ask, “How are we performing against our potential?” or, “At what speed is this machine designed to run?”
Measure when the machine is making you money (adding value) versus when it is idle – ask us about how FreePoint Technologies can help.
Share performance information with your team and ask them how it can be improved.
What’s New in the Year Ahead
We’ve got a number of Front Line Leadership Training workshops kicking off in January, along with onsite sessions, webinars and the extensive online video library.
Attend the Decoding the Mysteries of Managing Millennials workshop in Mississauga on January 28th.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant will receive new funding in April 2016 so now is a great time to plan training so your grant request can go in early.
You can enrol your front line supervisors, team leaders and managers in our two-day Front Line Leadership program being held in Toronto, Canada, London, Canada, Windsor, Canada, Kitchener/Waterloo, Canada, Detroit, USA and Chicago, USA.