My last question was "What do you think managers should keep in mind?" I received a lot of valuable insight:
- "We have different personalities and problems."
- "We are human and are working to make ends meet."
- "There are people with different talents that can be used and directed to make the team function as a unit."
- "Workers are only human, and they do make mistakes."
- "To maintain a sense of humility. After all, they make mistakes, too. Humility will make them more approachable when an employee needs assistance with something."
- "To treat people fairly."
There's a lot to learn here. Our workers have lives outside the building, and for some it's not always a bed of roses. You can imagine how they feel when the shop is a rotten place to work. It spells inefficiency. Are we using all the employees' talents? What's your approach to the workers? Are you domineering? I wouldn't work for someone that was a jerk. You can lose a lot of good employees that way.
I hope this survey was of value to you. The question you should be asking yourself now is: What can I do to improve? There is plenty of useful information out there — management classes, books and networking.
In the solid surface industry there are at least four sources on the Internet that contain countless amounts of information: issfa.com; thefabricatornetwork.com; solidsurfacegeeks.com; and this publication's site, surfacefabrication.com. The first three sites have excellent bulletin boards where you can post any question and have a reply almost instantaneously. On Surface Fabrication's site there is an archive containing a library of information. You would be doing yourself an injustice if you didn't go to these places.
As a manager, you can't always do everything correctly. Your employees know this, but they can tell if you aren't trying. So let's give it our best effort.
About the author:
Jon Olson is the production and operations manager for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling, Mass. He has been a solid surface fabricator since 1982 and can be reached at email@example.com.