Empowering Plant Managers to Lead Successfully

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Empowering Plant Managers Improves Performance

The issue we are addressing today is the behavior of plant managers that lead by empowering and those who micromanage.

Plant managers, directors, or VPs of operations believe good plant managers need to be heavily involved in every aspect of the facility. This expectation instills the micromanaging behavior that plant managers can adopt as a result.

One core problem with micromanagement is that it detracts from the supervisor’s responsibilities and demotivates team members. Employee retention averages 35% when managers engage with their teams through feedback and empowerment.

Transitioning from Technician to Manager

Many people promoted to a manager role, especially those who accept an opportunity without management experience, tend to grandfather the mindset from their previous position. They will continue to be directly involved in the details and projects. As a result, these new leaders unintentionally develop micromanagement behavior instead of empowering their teams to achieve success.

Obtaining Success Through Empowerment

Empowering your workforce can result in improved decision-making, accountability, and overall contribution to the organization. 

Here are 3 ways you can adapt your leadership to achieve these results:

Tip Number 1: Clarify Expectations

The first step is to make sure people clearly understand:

  • What is your expectation, and how to determine it has been met?
  • What needs to be completed to meet that expectation?
  • When does the expectation need to be completed by?

Tip Number 2: Challenge for Growth

Remember this adage; it is who, not how.

Many plant managers are stuck with how they will boost their numbers, achieve the desired results, or hit ambitious targets for the year. While forgetting one crucial factor to help answer those questions–their team is there to help them achieve those things.

They should reframe the question from “How am I going to make this happen?” to “Who can help?” It is uncommon for people, in general, to proactively ask for more work. 

It is your responsibility as the leader to:

  • Promote growth
  • Give challenges in their assignments
  • Be supportive

Tip Number 3: Support and Strengthen

If your team is not quite up to the challenges that you have for them as a plant manager, then you need to strengthen and support them as you go along.

You need to provide coaching to strengthen rather than demoralizing. Avoid implying that their inability to perform will result in the need for you to step in and do their job on top of your own. It will only mire you into micromanagement.

Instead, give your people a sense of what you want. Provide challenges so that they can grow into those roles and think about who, not how. Once you successfully implement this reframed approach, you can focus on development to achieve consistent results.

Your success as a plant manager depends on having the supervisors and the production managers who report to you also be highly effective in their leadership roles.

Removing Roadblocks for New Leaders

Many people will be promoted from within only to struggle as they take on those leadership responsibilities, and that is what our Front Line Leadership program can positively impact. Finding the time to complete the necessary training can be challenging, so we have introduced our Front Line Leadership On Demand program, where you can log in, set your own pace, put the lessons into practice, and track your progress with our Leader Behavior Builder™ System. 

Connect with us through our here or through one of our social platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram

Together, we can develop a solution over time that builds a powerful leadership presence so that you can be an employer of choice and hit your results consistently.