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The OEE Few are Talking About: Overall Employee Engagement

Christina Gay
March 14, 2016

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“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.
”

A company is like an engine.  It has to be firing on all cylinders.  When something is out of sync it becomes obvious.  The overall performance suffers and everyone involved is affected. Think about the people you work with.  It’s easy to tell if they feel engaged or if they are just going through the motions.  Even if they try to hide their dissatisfaction, actions speak louder than words.

There are two kinds of employees:  Those who are engaged and those who are not engaged. They are easy to tell apart.

Engaged
Engaged employees are invested in the future of the company.  They take ownership of their tasks, volunteer for things and speak up when they have a suggestion to make things better.  

They go the extra mile and tend to be much happier than employees who aren’t engaged.  They often look for ways to learn and grow within the company.

Not Engaged
Employees who are not engaged and invested in the company look like they’d rather be anywhere else but at work.  They are more likely to point fingers and place blame on others. They give the bare minimum effort, aren’t excited to take on new tasks and may even appear bored.

Companies want employees who are engaged and go the extra mile.  So how do you achieve that?  It’s easier than you think and it all starts with Management.

Important ways to get and keep employees engaged

Listen:  Listen to employees and their ideas.  The operator that runs the machine everyday sees and knows things that other people don’t.  They are a valuable resource and acknowledging that goes a long way.  An Employee Suggestion System is a great way to get everyone involved with continuous improvement.

Recognition and Reward:   You need to give credit where credit is due.  When an employee has a great idea that benefits the business it should be recognized.  That recognition can come in many forms such as a note on their review, a small token of appreciation like a certificate or company t-shirt, or something as simple as a firm handshake and sincere thank you.

Respect:  This one should go without saying.  Employees who feel respected and valued work harder than those who don’t.  Put yourself in their shoes.  You should treat everyone the way you want to be treated.  

Safety and Working Environment:  Safety is a big concern at any company.  No one wants to worry about their personal safety at work.  Make sure your equipment is maintained and your employees are wearing the proper personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection and steel-toed shoes if necessary.  

If a machine is constantly going down for repairs you may need to look at whether or not there’s a safety risk.  A downtime log, like the one provided in MachineMetrics’ software is a great way to keep track of the type and duration of machine downtime.  You can look for trends and you may be able to fix the problem before it becomes a serious safety hazard.

Growth and Accountability:  Providing opportunities for advancement is a great way to get employees to become engaged in the success of the company.  It is critical to have clear goals so employees can be accountable to themselves and not just to their managers.  Immediate feedback on their performance is a great way to provide this, and that’s where MachineMetrics comes into play.  Even on a manual process such as grinding, employees can track the process cycle time to make sure they are keeping the correct pace.  

Having accurate data is key when discussing employee performance.  “I can see that your cycle time goes up 20% on Monday mornings” is very different from “I feel like you’re not keeping up some days."  Employees feel empowered and accomplished when they can see their improvement in black and white.  That’s a difficult task without tracking software like MachineMetrics.  Managers can also make easier, more confident decisions on promoting employees when they can clearly quantify performance.  

It isn’t hard to make someone feel valued and appreciated and it is certainly worth the time and effort.  There is a major return on investment when your employees are engaged and when this happens, everyone wins.

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