Dr. Marvin Marshall – an American educator, writer and lecturer – is widely known for his programs on discipline and learning. His approach stemmed from his acquiring knowledge about youth as a parent; a recreation director and camp counselor; a classroom teacher; a school counselor; an elementary and high school principal; district director of education; and as a certificate holder from the William Glasser Institute.
Dr. Marshall recently shared in Reliable Plant magazine that without trust in the workplace, communication and teamwork will erode. Additionally, morale decreases while turnover rises. He suggests three approaches to build shop floor employees’ trust in management, thereby making the workplace an environment filled with innovation, creativity, and ultimately higher profits for all.
Manufacturing Executives Learn to Align with Better Communicators
In the largest quantitative research project of its kind, more than 1500 small and midsized manufacturing CEOs were interviewed (in February 2015) about their greatest barriers, challenges, and fears about growing their companies. The survey, conducted by TR Cutler, Inc., based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is the organization which founded the five thousand-member Manufacturing Media Consortium.
The greatest pain point causing anxiety, fear, and apprehension about manufacturing growth among these manufacturing leaders was speaking to their employees. More than four out of five (82%) said that speaking to their employees was difficult or very difficult.
Knowing what to say is important. Knowing how and how often to communicate with employees are equally important. When so many manufacturing CEOs (all with fewer than 250 employees) report a weekly (in some cases daily) order, inventory, or delivery crisis, the notion of employee communication quickly takes a back burner.
More Fast-Growing, Privately-Held Manufacturing Executives Outsource Much of the Employee Communication
Dr. Marshall suggests putting a limit on lecturing, noting that such communication implies that leaders do not have faith in decision-making abilities of plant floor workers and result in defensive behavior. In addition, the employees lose confidence to make decisions. Even well-intentioned lectures convey the subtle, negative message that what the employee has done is wrong or not good enough.
A manufacturing leader can take the information learned during listening and then utilize outsourced communication programs by PDP Solutions to acknowledge employees’ feelings and opinions. Inquiry precedes advocacy. Effective manufacturing managers know that delegation of tasks is essential for building trust in the workplace. Marshall is adamant that babying employees hinders professional development.
The ability to constantly praise and recognize employee growth and achievement is at the heart of People Driven Performance.