Empowerment: “It’s what I bring to the table – if the table is set correctly. It’s the extent to which I’m going to exercise my discretionary effort to the benefit of the company IF the company creates the right kind of culture.”
~ Doug Harper, General Manager of Blommer Chocolate
One thing is glaringly obvious in our room this morning. Doug Harper has a passion for people and is responsible in leading the number 1 effort of the company’s 5 year strategic plan. Blommers focus is on building a cultural foundation that will eventually support Lean Manufacturing. In short, they are starting with developing their people.
Initially upon hiring and within the first year almost every employee is engaged. If you look at statistics and employee engagement surveys, typically you see the engagement decrease by almost 50% within the first 3-5 years. By focusing on high levels of engagement, you empower your employees. How?
Building trust. Build trust by giving it. Be open to ideas and opinions. Accept people for who they really are. Keep your commitments. Ask questions and believe in your people, trust their judgements, encouraging questions/challenges. Play to people’s strengths. Remove the desire to control, micro-manage, blame. This creates an environment where self-directed people enjoy their meaningful, challenging work. Which leads us to self-directed teams. Cross-functional teams schedule their own lines, are responsible for hiring, preventative maintenance/sanitation scheduling, and responsible for taking their own attendance. Which by the way drove greater attendance by 10%!
Blommer is creating a new organizational structure. Where the right decisions are made by the right people at the right place and time. People working where they should be, to their collective strength, creating opportunities to get more people involved, and creating more ways to say thank you. Operators focus on the hour to day, Leads on the day to week, Supervisors on the week to month and Managers on the month to year. This creates less fire-fighting and more proactive work/thinking. This meant a change to job descriptions by including coaching and team development; Shift Supervisor 50% on coaching and Leads with 35% on coaching. This creates a more sustainable model, with coaches and mentors rather than ‘bosses.’ Remembering that your employees want to work for/impress their direct Supervisor more than the ‘company’ as a whole. It’s a personal relationship. Give your employees the Supervisor they deserve!
Where do you start?
- Lead with the “engaged” and create a culture that re-engages people through choices
- 20% are “engaged” (these are your leaders)
- 60% are the “disengaged” (have the potential to go either way)
- 20% are the “actively disengaged” (do not focus on this group, they will self-select out/quit or be terminated)
- Start with your Leaders
- Focus on Teams – people enjoy working in teams, provide the opportunities
- Draw people into being engaged, into the day to day of the business
- Expand your daily focus forward
- Create Opportunities
By engaging the dis-engaged, it makes the remaining dis-engaged feel left out.
This event was followed by some great questions/discussion. If you have any questions regarding this presentation please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dougs' presentation can be found under your Members Tab https://www.emccanada.org/membersarea/memberdocs/onbelleville/emcblommersignov242015presentationppt