I toured a national soft drink beverage bottler last week while on an engagement in Florida. Our client wanted us to tour this facility to gain some ideas for their organization.
The facility that we toured produces a nationally known soft drink suite of products– products that you see at many restaurants and grocery stores. They have advertisements on TV, radio, computer in addition to print advertising.
The manager that took us through the facility said that this facility, although severely dated, was one of the top producing facilities in the company. Why was the question that we asked? Well, surprisingly the answer is one that we have addressed many times before– people management.
The people that worked at the plant were long term employees, thankful for a good job, with benefits that the firm provided. Many people had been with the firm more than 30 years. These employees were pictured on the wall in the lobby of the building– the door that everyone uses to enter the plant– the president of the company as well as the janitor. Everybody entered and left the building by the same door. Long time employees were recognized. Another thing that I noticed was performance standards– what are the company goals– how is the company doing and how is our shift doing?
The manager told us that employee empowerment was the key to success in this business. Employees were told what the goals were, how the plant compared to other like company plants and what was needed to be done to achieve/exceed goal. If the goal was exceeded each quarter, each employee received a bonus— about 6-7% of their annual salary. For many of these hourly employees who were making between $15-22/per hour, this was a huge sum of money.
Employees wanted to know what they had to do to make goal!! Teamwork, cooperation and communication were the key critical elements that the manager told us allowed his team to consistently be one of the top performing units in the company.
The key here is are you using teamwork cooperation and communication with your staff? Do your people know what the goals are– sales goals, production goals, manufacturing goals– whatever type of goal it is? Are these goals reviewed daily, weekly, monthly? Are employees empowered to make changes if necessary? If not, you may wish to review how you do this. You may find that your most valuable resource, your staff, is not as empowered as you had envisioned. With full staff empowerment, you may find that your profits increase and your headaches decrease. An idea to consider!