MRO Magazine

50 ways to love your labour

Although great initiatives on your part can do much to enhance the quantity and quality of the work your people do, it's often the little things that happen, day in and day out, that influence their b...


November 1, 2002
By Richard G. Ensman

Although great initiatives on your part can do much to enhance the quantity and quality of the work your people do, it’s often the little things that happen, day in and day out, that influence their bottom line productivity.

Here are 50 ways you can help your people do their best work for you and your company, whether it’s maintenance or operations. Want to help a valued employee become more productive? Scan the list and pull out a suggestion or two that you can use right now.

1. Take an employee along to a professional meeting or seminar.

2. Serve as a mentor to an employee.

3. Let staff members participate in a committee or team and pick up skills from other people.

4. Help an employee establish his own visionary goals.

5. Compliment someone on the shop floor on work well done.

6. Invite an employee to share problems and concerns with you.

7. Ask questions about your employee’s work. No, you don’t need to know all the details, but by giving your employee the chance to respond to your questions, you help him take pride in his work.

8. Offer to work alongside an employee periodically.

9. Let a worker make presentations during staff meetings or even lead portions of the meetings.

10. Encourage employees to visit other workplaces to see how their peers do their jobs.

11. Periodically, send an employee to a training or educational program to learn skills that will benefit him and your operation.

12. Ask a staff member to teach a skill to another employee.

13. Liberally share operating and financial information within your area with your staff.

14. Reward an employee when he goes out of his way to do something exceptional.

15. Give the employee a favourite technical reference or business book to read.

16. Encourage an employee to become involved in a trade or professional association.

17. Let a staff member run an orientation program for new employees.

18. Put an employee in charge of some workplace gathering, such as a social activity or staff holiday party.

19. Bring a speaker or educator into the workplace to talk about important issues or to teach about working with new equipment or technology.

20. Serve as an outstanding role model.

21. Don’t ask an employee to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.

22. Provide an employee with reading material about contemporary workplace issues.

23. Concern yourself with child or senior care issues that might affect your employee’s attendance or productivity.

24. Arrange for fringe benefits that don’t cost anything.

25. Offer to provide informal advice and counsel about the employee’s career.

26. Promote wellness to your staff.

27. Arrange for an employee’s peers to pick up his work when he’s on vacation or ill.

28. Teach members of your team how to brainstorm.

29. Take an employee on calls to key customers.

30. Establish a simple library of materials and resources that employees can use to learn about your business or the facilities and equipment they work with.

31. Alert staff to key indicators of good performance.

32. Give an employee a professional “kit” containing resources he can use to build new skills.

33. Ask a worker to identify helpful training equipment or supplies — and provide them to him.

34. Be sure your employee is trained in the latest technology.

35. Invite someone from your staff to undertake or lead a project once a year.

36. Thank an employee for a job well done.

37. Appoint an employee to a committee within the business sector or community.

38. Encourage an employee to continue his schooling.

39. Teach a staff member about all phases of your business.

40. Ask your employee’s advice.

41. Ask an employee to produce a simple monthly report, and spend some time discussing it with him.

42. Ask a staff member to give tours of your operation to visitors.

43. Let an employee develop special expertise in an area crucial to your business or operation.

44. Understand your employee’s work style and allow him to practice it most effectively in your workplace.

45. Teach an employee goal setting and time management techniques.

46. When you give salary or wage increases, explain how the employee’s productivity made them possible.

47. Invite workers to sign everything they produce.

48. Give employees pins or tokens to recognize important milestones.

49. Once a month, ask a worker to critique the way things are done in your workplace.

50. Thank an employee for a job well done (once is never enough).MRO

Richard G. Ensman, Jr., is a regular contributor to Machinery & Equipment MRO.