We have reviewed your case at Sedalia Engine Plant and believe we have found a plan that fits your needs. We believe that while your company surely holds a lot of promise, we have a few ideas to we would like to recommend to you and perhaps take into consideration. We have your best interests at hand and only serve in helping you in bettering your company and becoming more efficient.
By the means of what is known as lean production, you can continue to preserve the value in your product while increasing efficiency in the production process, making your employees happier resulting in more productivity and quality control, and hoping to save your company time and money in the long run while not costing your employees, products or consumers anything, all of which are good things. You state that employees are starting to feel powerless and feel like they are unable to do tasks that would benefit the company. While you have implemented a program to address this, you indicate it is not working.
One important principle of lean production is leveling out the workload. We recommend spreading the work load among all employees. If the work load is level across the board, employees will feel useful and not feel as though they have wasted efforts. Feeling like a part of a team and feeling equal amongst your work peers creates for greater solidarity and an increased chance for greater work quality, resulting in product quality. Adding standardized tasks is also the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
Employees themselves should be passionate about the company and work together for one goal. These people should be in agreement with your companies’ philosophy. Those you elect to be team leaders or managers should be equipped for the position. They should thoroughly understand every aspect of the company and also be trained in being team leaders, while at the same time understanding the teaching methods of the company. Building strong leaders to help lead and keep teams working together is essential for the well-being of your company.
As mentioned prior, giving each employee a fair amount of the work will help with their morale, and providing strong leaders equipped with good leadership skills to direct their equal efforts makes for an outstanding system. Concerning the Board of Representatives, Board of Employees, and Human Resources, these teams will need to work in tandem to be effective. These three teams should be making decisions together, and rapidly implementing the unanimous decision. These decisions should focus on the long-term picture, not the short-term picture, even if sacrifices will need to be made.
The Board of Representatives should constantly be watching with their own eyes to ensure production is being carried out in a proper manner. The Board of Employees should be concerned with making employee tasks standardized, and work to continuously improve the level of standardization. With standardized tasks and work evenly spread across employees, employees will feel empowered to succeed. To avoid wasting time and resources, the focus should be on building quality first, rather than worrying about fixing problems later.
Your company should only be using reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes. You should also provide visual controls so no problems are hidden. Remember, quality is “key”. In regards to the issue pertaining to wage differentials and job security, a good way of going about handling that is to compromise with the workers. Also if you use the steps for searching for integrative solutions, that would help as well. The first step would be to separate the people from the problem.
I know that wages and job security directly affect the employees, but it is best if you take away the employees from the issue and really find out the company issues with differing wages. The second step would be to focus on the shared interest of all the parties. As for the plant, you would naturally want to do what is in the best interest of the company, but if you are really trying to resolve and compromise the issue you would need to look at the issue from an employee point of view. The next step, and one of the biggest ones, is to generate options.
It is good to not just come up with one solution to the job security issue, but to also formulate many options that can be used to solve that problem. I suggest layout a plan that employees were to follow and if they didn’t, that would put their wages and job security at risk. The fourth step in the breakdown would be evaluation. It is best to evaluate the options using objective criteria. This step simply means to thoroughly look over options and have a certain criteria to follow for the options to be of any relevance to the problem. The last step would be to iteration.
There is not a, onetime, perfect option for every problem. The best way to go about this is to keep trying. If one solution doesn’t fully solve the wage issues at the plant, than keep trying other plans. It was mentioned that POT is still functioning, but an Organizational Review Group (ORG) was established to discuss plant guidelines along with Exempt and Non-exempt Task Force Groups (NEIG & EITG). In response to employee criticism and the potential for negative publicity, the board of trustees made a decision to establish a “Task Force on the Work/Family Interface. The mission of the Task Force was to make recommendations on possible additions and modifications to company policies and programs that will better accommodate the family responsibilities of its employees. Members of this Task Force included: company executives, exempt and non-exempt employees, and members of the board of trustees. The Task Force can make recommendations in a large number of areas including health insurance coverage, absence with pay, leave without pay, sick leave, promotion criteria and policies, training programs, family leave, job sharing, flextime and child care.
I believe task forces are an improvement on past practices, but I also do believe there could be another option as well Your decision-making processes should be based on a long-term philosophy of proving good services and products, even at the expense of short-term financial goals. While profit is important and essential, a high one means nothing if your employees aren’t happy, resulting in your products not having as much quality, resulting in unsatisfied customers. This rips everyone off in the end. High morale and work ethic is core, as previously stated.
Bringing back building a philosophy within the minds and work ethic of team leaders and employees, it trickles down into the product itself and reassures that your company stands for something great and admirable, not simply another big name making lots of money. It is probably very important for you to hold a high morale and solid reputation, and with these key ideals and systems, that is very much possible. We thank you for your time and hope you to take our recommendations into deep consideration. We feel these decisions would be wise for the lasting future and quality of your products, people and proficiency.