Improving plant performance, international production unit,
1500 people.

  • Increasing quality problems having a negative impact on productivity and delivery agreements.
  • Difficult to mobilise people to do something about it because the union is blocking everything: status quo is the only option for them.
  • Occupational accident rate is too high.
  • Factory was taken over a year earlier.
  • New management needs to bring in a breath of fresh air because the conversion costs are too high and there is too little flexibility.
  • If not, the future of the factory is at stake.

ANALYSIS

Listening sessions based on volunteers (union imposed). More than 250 people.

10 specific critical issues emerged from sessions.

1.Lack of credibility and trust of supervisors

2.Lack of willingness to listen to the staff on the part of the management

3.Fragmented responsibilities on the lines

4.Inadequate production planning

5.Holiday planning scheduled in a way that leads to production loss

6.Insufficient application of safety regulations

7.Poor communication across the production lines

8.Need for a new mode of consultation with the unions (paralysis)

9.Better “mobilisation” of employees on the machines to improve quality

10.Problem with some persons

APPROACH

  • Choice to present full report, unedited and in detail, to the entire plant (transparency) through group sessions.
  • Executive Team coached to implement the 3-year strategy and involving every level down to the operational staff
  • Action taken to not only tackle the problems top-down, but also bottom-up by involving and showing appreciation for the supervisors and employees.
  • Plan drawn up to gain the trust of trade unions step by step through a transparent policy and to make them aware of the importance of changes to ensure the future of the factory through a “didactic approach”..

RESULTS

  • Cascade for the implementation of the strategy has been introduced.
  • Communication of the content from the listening sessions has worked as a catharsis. Employees have finally been able to make their complaints public.
  • The approach of the unions was critically examined by employees who are open to improvements (future).
  • 10 areas have been addressed with concrete proposals and actions (3-year step-by-step plan)
  • Personal problems among Executive Team members have been fixed.
  • Quality has improved, will be continued.
  • Relationship with unions is less tense.

Greater transparency ensures a better climate in the factory. Employees are more involved in the change processes. Major trouble spots in the work organisation have finally been thoroughly addressed.