There are many cultural aspects that affect a factory’s performance and reliability. Some of the cultural elements support operational excellence and some hinder growth. Ultimately it is the role of the company’s leadership to shape a culture that propels the company toward it’s vision. This helps to instill a confidence that the business is on the right track, even if it has a long way to go. This is what is meant by swagger. Below are 10 signs that your factory or network of factories has swagger and the type of culture it needs to foster manufacturing success:
1) The employees know that they are the best at what they do. But they also know that they need to get much better
2) There is little to no tolerance for sub-par performance. The strong thrive and the weak quickly learn that their talents are better applied elsewhere
3) People don’t try to hide deficiencies in the production system. They quickly bring them to the surface and lead the charge on getting them dealt with effectively
4) People at the shop floor level gladly step up to lead Continuous Improvement activities in the factory. They can also show documented results of how their process has gotten better and how much better it can get
5) Managers put most of their time and effort toward taking the plant to the next level and little to no effort into hand-holding or micro-managing employees
6) Other factories in the network look to your factory as the benchmark for operations excellence; yet your factory actively seeks opportunities to incorporate best-practices from other factories
7) Each and every individual on the shop floor has an honest shot at becoming Plant Manager
8) Each and every manager has an honest shot at becoming Vice President of Operations
9) Promotions are based more on merit and demonstrated leadership than anything else
10) If you ask anyone who works there who they work for, they all give the same answer – The Customer
Next time you walk into a factory, ask questions to get a feel for what type of performance culture is in place. And if the signs outlined above don’t sound anything like your workplace, remember that you don’t have to accept that as a way of life. Its up to you to take action to make a difference; that’s what separates the leaders from the followers.
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