Thursday, February 16, 2006

What creates job dissatisfaction? You'd be surprised

What creates job dissatisfaction?  You'd be surprised



We interviewed a candidate for an open manufacturing position last week.  A very capable person and her comments were telling.


She took an "early retirement" offer from a major auto manufacturer recently, an effort at significantly downsizing the company.  We asked her about her experience at this firm and, in particular, what bothered her. 


She stated that her biggest struggle was the fact that line workers, such as her, were often forced to pass along a known defect.  Their team on the line badly wanted to produce product that conformed to specification.  Yet she was instructed, if she couldn't fix the problem as the line moved past her station, to say something to the next person downstream, and then carry on with the next car.  "We never knew if that problem got fixed or if it just ended up as the customer's annoyance," she told us with a frown.


She then turned the table and asked if we had a similar view of handling defects.  Imagine how thrilled I was when three of our manufacturing associates, part of the interview team, immediately and together enthusiastically told her "NO.  We don't pass along known errors.  We stop and fix it at that point." 


This issue of rapid error detection and correction is a matter of policy not technology.  When management decides it is good to do, the manufacturing team will do it, better than ever.  But the management walk and talk have to match. 



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