As our enterprises continue to work at improving profitability, one aspect of struggle is often either not used or underused. This is the use of job satisfaction on the part of the individual employee to suggest methods and procedures improvements. These methods and procedures improvements can achieve new ways of doing things which are simpler or easier to perform. These changes when successfully implemented, can greatly improve job satisfaction. When such a suggestion comes from those who perform the function the amount of job satisfaction received is even higher. And don't forget that productivity is improved by better methods and procedures. Improved productivity means better profitability.
Such a program is best achieved when the enterprise fosters it. Customarily rewards are provided to the originators of the improvements. However rewards are not enough to achieve the full effect of the program. This is because the individual worker does not have the skills which would allow high levels of improvements.
The skills needed are: knowledge of the nature of how production operations can be modeled; how to budget; how to create simple work measurement standards; how to identify processing constraints; how to prepare procedures manuals; how to implement changes in procedures; and how to conduct Request for Quotation (RFQ) techniques.
Since all information flow, paper work flow and physical flows can be looked at the same way for purposes of identifying constraints or other limitations, these disciplines are also needed as a part of the institutional knowledge of the enterprise.
This seems to be a rather daunting list of needed skills but that is actually not the case. The skills are most beneficial when employed together. But they are not often associated with each other and many times are not available in the educational system. That does not diminish their usefulness.
There is, however, a recently introduced book which presents these techniques in one place and discusses how to use them. The book is called “Vocational Success". It is affordable for both the individual and the enterprise.
The more management support the job satisfaction program receives, the more likely its success will be. Certificates of achievement, department award banners and as appropriate cash rewards are excellent ways to indicate to the entire organization how important these practices are to everyone. Personal comments by management personnel to individual people who have made contributions are also quite important. These are best done as an apparent random comment. This is of course in addition to the other methods of recognition.
It is often the case that the enterprise does not realize that one of the largest benefits from improving methods and procedures is to improve productivity. This then becomes a win/win situation for the enterprise. As someone once said “try it you will like it".
Morgan F Bryan