Being in charge of any company requires a lot of focus on the finer details in order for the larger details to soar. Regardless of whatever company that you are in charge of, it is always a large task. When it comes to running a manufacturing firm, it is amazing that the focus is very rarely on the staff themselves. It is almost taken for granted that the human aspect will be there to punch in and punch out, but with factory workforces comes shifts, long hours with very little daylight, and low morale. When it comes to leading the factory operation, here are some things that you should take on board.
The little things mean a lot. In a factory setting, paying attention to the smaller details can be overlooked. When manufacturing products on a large scale, making the assumption that the product is correct every single time is not the right assumption. Make sure that you have a follow-up system in place. It is a fact of life that human error is a very common issue, and while we need to reduce these errors, we need to find the right methods in which to do it without reducing morale. One way to do it would be to implement discipline or reliability within a team, much like a military effort where reliability on each other and dependency is promoted as the number one working method, so there is no weak link in the chain, and staff are aware of their individual responsibilities as part of a larger system, especially when you are working in an environment which can compromise safety. For example, if you are working with chemicals.
Reinforcing team spirit is another tool which is seldom communicated. The General Motors credo of “Common, Common, Common” comes to mind. In other words, everyone understanding the same goal, regardless of where you are on the ladder. This is a great way to promote unity and solidarity. Using the right tools to continuously improve the manufacturing process, whether it is technology or employing staff morale techniques, understanding that everybody has the same goal is a good approach for a company regardless of its size and stature.
Understanding your space is an all encompassing term. You could take it to mean your physical factory space, or you could take it to be where you fit in the market. Either way, both approaches are required to make sure that you work as productive as possible. So when it comes to the physical space, are you making sure that you use it as well as you possibly can? The factory line process is a very linear process, are you using that space effectively? And when it comes to your place in the market, understanding where you fit applies especially if you are a start-up company, as you need to make sure that your overheads are not excessive and that you are able to corner a part of the market for you to be successful.
The final piece of the puzzle is keeping your staff happy. Ultimately happier workers are more productive workers, so by integrating some different techniques to increase workplace morale, this will have a benefit on them individually as well as your overall productivity.