Reaping the rewards

Precasters who take the time to assess, cultivate, and/or fix the bonds between their production and management personnel can expect big rewards in return. Not only will the workplace itself be more harmonious, but plant floor personnel will be more productive, safer, and loyal. Managers will be able to allocate their time and efforts more effectively as well.

“Almost immediately you’ll see higher morale among employees and a greater sense of purpose across the workforce,” Gonzalez says. Other key benefits include lower absenteeism rates, more teamwork, better return on investment (in human resources) and, ultimately, higher profits and a healthier bottom line for the company as a whole.

Having worked with a number of manufacturers that have successfully improved their management-production bonds, Chase says putting the time and effort into this exercise also yields better trust and respect levels within the employee, supervisor, and management ranks. “When these measures increase, you wind up with better results across the board,” says Chase, who adds that housekeeping, safety, production efficiency, and quality levels also benefit from these efforts.

“All four areas – safety in particular – need attention and must achieve certain levels of success in a precast concrete plant,” Chase says. “So as you improve the relationships and communication between management, supervisors, and employees, you can also expect improvements in these other areas as well.”

This article originally appeared in Precast Inc., July/August, 2013, published by the National Precast Concrete Association. For an archive of similar articles and other precast concrete industry news, please visit http://precast.org/publications.


5 Tips for Effective Relationship Building

Tom Armour, co-founder of Toronto-based High Return Selection, a company that helps firms implement innovative methods to improve profitability and employee engagement, offers these five tips to precasters that want to create better relationships between management and production:

1. Prioritize hiring. Plant employees must be hired based on their commitment to productivity and quality along with loyalty and dedication, among other things. Office workers and especially managers must be hired for their ability to be team players across the company, and managers must be able to form trust and relationships with all employees.
2. Get them involved. When you hear of issues from the floor, fix them fast. This earns respect, trust, and credibility, and floor employees will become part of the solution. Celebrate success jointly.
3. Form a critical mass. Many organizations fail to understand that when you have a core group of great employees, they form a critical mass that helps management improve the plant.
4. Walk the four corners regularly. Leadership is critical. Supervisors and other required office workers need to get out and into the plant frequently and should be on a first name basis with employees. Trust is built over time and with integrity.
5. Prevent death by a thousand cuts. Too many companies implement cuts or layoffs on a quarterly basis. This continual cutting of people, benefits, and pay is reactive and destroys loyalty and relationships. The hidden and long-term costs of this far exceed the quarterly savings. Instead, make one comprehensive cut and then rebuild commitment.