Mentality and Productivity
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Yes, they are connected. At this point in time, it's become apparent to me that industrial companies are thinking about how to address this, with a number of challenging factors creating apparent blocks, such as these;
1) The majority of shop-floor workers are on minimum wage, or close to it. How do you motivate people in this situation?
2) Skilled workers are hard to come by, the sector has a shortage of people coming in with knowledge behind them, so the majority of operators are semi-skilled at best - how do you get them to optimise output?
3) What do you prioritise - mechanical upgrades or motivated staff?
Let's bear in mind first of all that money is not a primary motivating factor in the pursuit of happiness. Many people, content to earn a modest wage, are nevertheless in search of fulfilment - sense of purpose being a fundamental need according to Maslow's Hierarchy. A company leader is always in a position to raise self-esteem and engagement by nurturing a positive environment, but many choose not to because:
1) They are nervous about empowering people when they fear, as a consequence, losing empowered staff since the culture doesn't live up to their (subsequently higher) expectations.
2) They are not confident of their own ability to carry out a sustainable policy of cultural transformation.
3) They do not believe that they can change things from 'the way they are'.
The first of these is readily diffused by the fact that positively motivated people automatically create better working conditions for themselves. Change is inevitable, whatever we do. Either we make change work for us, or we allow it to dictate results of its own accord. Often there is a crossover, for we can't control everything, and nor should we seek to - that's not a healthy mentality. When it comes to corporate culture, the only sustainable route to success is one that's agreed upon, by everyone, and the only way that can happen is if the company presents its workforce with a win-win situation.
A win-win situation is one that provides the following:
1) Trust, proactive communication, shared motivation and confident self-management across the company matrix.
2) A positive environment to walk into every day.
3) Learning and development that extends beyond the workplace into people's daily lives (=more positive change for which the company is credited).
I could go on. But instead of reading another ream of writing, the very best thing you can do is have a conversation with someone who's already achieved this kind of transformation successfully across a range of challenging situations. I'll leave you with three primary effects of motivational culture change, not to mention a raft of other benefits we could talk about:
1) Increased productivity as operators become more confident and energised.
2) Reliable quality of output as people take more pride in their work.
3) Alignment with mission as staff find themselves engaging with the company as a living entity and committing to their role in its future health and welfare.
UPDATE - my visit to Advanced Engineering at the NEC (2nd-3rd November) confirms through many conversations with media and trade organisations that there is a huge void in application to these matters across the industry as a whole.