LOW PRODUCTIVITY AND INDIFFERENCE OF PEOPLE: A KILLING COMBINATION
Location: Northern Bohemia
Duration: 4 months
A manufacturing company, automotive subcontractor. 230 employees. The production focuses on one main product. The customer is contractually guaranteed delivery of the product 48 hours after sending the order and penalty for external complaints. The customer also expects stock delivery according to the time window for the next six months.
Despite modernized machinery, the production runs only on average in 73% of the single shift capacity. The performance standards of the company are not updated. Only a formalized system of quality management exists there. As well as the principles of sustainable improvements. Fluctuation is not a monitored indicator. The pay of employees has not been changed for four years. A new Production Manager, whose task is to restructure the production, takes over. Changing the layout, changing the structure of production capacities and scanning component operations provoke resistance in people. Another growth of fluctuation and long term sickness rate come about. The management of the company is not behind the new Production Manager. The management of the company is not unanimous, senior, in terms of time spent in the company, employees bypass the new production director and communicate directly with the company’s executive.
My task is to calm down the situation in the company, help the management communicate with the employees clearly and transparently, keep the key employees in the company and guide the employees through the main change caused by the requirements of the automotive customer. Shifting external communication in the region to improve the name of the employer being a partial goal of the project.
Key shortcomings in trust and loyalty of the employees to the company and its management were discovered using a Satisfaction Questionnaire focusing on relationships in the company and space for improvement.
During a weekend workshop coupled with teambuilding of workers´ representatives of all departments and workshop masters, the indexes of SWOT analysis are defined and the basic structure of ethical communicational codex of the company is set. The evaluation showed that the workshop was the first opportunity, in 15 years, for the employees to communicate their opinions and to propose changes in production. Company Management defines the strategy of the company during a strategy workshop and the vision of the company, its values and ethical codex are created through validation of the outputs. Creating the essential battery of leadership rules from the management to line managers. Implementing the basic principles of the company culture from the bottom ensures elimination of the possible boycott of the new rules. The proposals of production workers for new processes in the production are the basis of the improvement movement and the anchoring of the commitment and participation in the process of change in the production. Wage evaluation is now created in cooperation with production leaders and validated by Company Management. A model of a qualification matrix of production workers is set, based on experience and multifunctionality of the employees.
Satisfaction Questionnaire for the employees focusing on working conditions was created to strengthen the mark of the employer. Answers concerning the space for improvement with the highest score were put into the action plan of rectifications which created the base to improve retention of employees and strengthen the brand of the employer in the region.
Cooperation of the owner of the company with the Production Manager and two-way communication of disagreements with employees. Improvement in keeping the rules of fair communication and mutual respect was validated by the output of the questionnaire at the end of the project.
- a team for sustainable improvement was created, as a kaizen bearer in the organization;
- a yearly lean training programme in production was set;
- fluctuation of manual workers dropped from 13 % to 9,4% and short term sick leave dropped from 9,1 % to 4,5 %, which is a significantly positive shift in terms of production planning;
- principles of HR department reporting about personal changes in the company set. HR Manager now being part of the top management.