Engaging Plant Managers To Improve Operations

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An Engaging Plant Manager Is Crucial For Workplace Improvement

There is a misconception suggesting that plant managers are not interested or engaged in the day-to-day operations of their facility. 

This perception can be especially harmful to your workplace because your managers are responsible for:

  • Daily check-ins with team members
  • Performing routine checks to ensure things are running smoothly and efficiently
  • Creating a level of engagement with supervisors, production employees, and the various team members involved in driving success

Not Every Story Has A Happy Ending

We have helped many managers and frontline leaders make positive strides in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are some cases where training will not make the situation better. 

One plant manager we worked with had an approach that was doing more harm than good. They held meetings and informed a specific group of employees that because they received a wage increase and signed a new agreement, they had to prove themselves in the workplace because it was a highly sought-after position. If they failed to meet the expectations, they were replaceable.

The issue with this approach is that it is:

  1. Negative
  2. Accusational

Even if you have had those thoughts as a manager,  you should never say that in front of your team members. There is nothing to be gained by doing this.

The Wrong Motivation

Verbalizing or implying that your team members are replaceable to ensure your expectations are met does not work long-term. What is common to happen with this approach is:

  • Negative attitudes
  • Absenteeism
  • Reduced productivity; attention to detail and quality

Here are a few things you can do as an engaging plant manager to prevent the outcomes this manager ultimately created:

Number One: Be Visible and Available

Sometimes you can be scheduled with too many calls that prevent you from leaving the office and interacting with your teams. Your staff needs to see their leader, so you must occasionally walk through to show you are visible and available.

Number Two: Empower

When you empower people, it means that you are giving them responsibility and the expectation you need them to deliver on. Empowering your team members allows them a sense of power and authority required for them to drive performance.

Number Three: Ask Questions

Ask questions, but not in an interrogation way. It would help if you asked questions instead of making statements to perform this effectively. When you speak up and state a fact, generally, people fall in line regardless of the different perspectives, approaches, or ideas that they may have had.

Start by asking questions like:

  • “Hey, what do you guys think would work?”
  • “How might we solve this?”
  • “What are your thoughts on this?”

The more you ask questions as a plant manager, the more you get other people to develop solutions. And when they come up with the answers, their ownership and accountability over those solutions are much higher than if you tell them what you want them to do.

Developing Your Leadership Skills

The development does not end after you have empowered your teams and driven results; that is where our Front Line Leadership Training program can help. We can deliver your training onsite exclusively for your team or through our state-of-the-art virtual training studio.

Enroll your leaders in one of our public workshops where an instructor is present in real time virtually, in-person, or through our Front Line Leadership on Demand program. This newly released service allows you to:

  • Enroll someone who can work independently at their own pace
  • Allows time for leaders to practice the newly learned ideas into action
  • Track results with our Leader Behavior Builder System

You will receive a report that shows the impact that leadership training has on your supervisors and, ultimately, your operations.

Visit us at uniquedevelopment.com to start the conversation or to set up a meeting where we will discuss your needs and help your leaders to drive operational excellence.