It is hard work to manage a group of grown up individuals who all have different needs, wants and goals. Supervisors struggle with the personalities of the workers in the shop environment every day. Finding ways to keep the jobs moving forward is a constant challenge.
The goal for the supervisor is to make sure that the work is fabricated correctly and completed according to the schedule, while the goal for the shop personnel is generally to collect a paycheck and go home. Many of them don't really care about schedules and delivery dates, that is for someone else to worry about.
The supervisor has to create an environment where the element of motivation turns into the crew being able to perform. There are many management methods and styles for doing this.
A suggestion that has worked for many is to talk to your people and make them feel like they are a part of the company family. If an employee feels no connection to the company, they are most likely not going to put forth the effort needed in a production shop. Ask them direct questions about their life, then follow up on those questions later.
Let them know that you care about them at work and away, and they will show you that they care about your profit margin.
Care has to be taken with how you talk to them as well. What works in words for one, will not motivate another. You have to figure out what makes them tick and wind up there. It is a trial an error game that you can win if you keep trying.
It's not only what you say, it's how you say it....
Steve's Shop Talk
Tough to find and even harder to hold on to is the welder capable of 'doing it all'.
We all dream of crew members who can weld, fit, read and understand drawings, follow directions, ask the right questions and get the work done on time, all with a smile!
If they could do all of that, they'd have your job, right?
Help others aspire to be better than they are and build on that. You just might find that you have all of these attributes collectively in your crew already!
Steel Advice - June 2011