Thanks to Tim Waters via LinkedIn Goups for the great thought-starter Question!

Paying for performance or engagement?

1) Be sincere and respectful when employees engage you.
2) Determine their PASSION, then allow them more degrees of freedom and discretion in that area.
3) Join them in their world. Have huddles in their space. Be present where the action is.
As managers and executives it’s easy to listen to an employee’s ‘issue’ and think- “Well that’s about the most unimportant thing that I have heard and I’m not going to waste my time on it.” But in the employee’s world that issue or need  just might be the speed bump that keeps them from running the process profitably. Listen and respect what they have to say to you, if they have taken the time to share it with you, it is important to them.
How can we not trust someone with what we know is their passion? Letting someone operate at their highest and best use is win-win-win for all involved. It’s what the folks in the Pentagon refer to as a “Force Multiplier.”
Being a presence on the shop floor means that you have more and better information. And that you are approachable, that you care.
WARNING: If you are in our space and aren’t wearing the Personal Protective Equipment that you make us wear, you will lose our engagement because of the hypocrisy.  Show us that you are one of us by your actions, not just your words.
Employee engagement is powerful. What tips would you like to share to help us better engage with each other at work and in the shop?

Warning, this piece is loaded with facts, not our opinions!

Just the facts.

We have written at great length here, here, here, and here, about OSHA’s plans to enforce safety regulations and fine violators. The “new sheriff in town” is on a mission.
So imagine what we felt when we found this report detailing 6,300 safety hazards just in Capital Hill Buildings.

  • 1058 fire hazards
  • 1742 electrical problems
  • 102 storage shelving violations
  • 70 machine guarding violations (In the last fiscal year, the machining industry had just  56 violations.  See the link here. Capital Hill machine guarding violations alone are equal to about 125% of the entire machining industry’s violations for the entire country in 2009)
  • 25% of hazards continue to be high risk to employees and visitors.

6300 violations compared to 56 for the machining industry, thats 11,250% more violations than our machining industry.
Library of Congress- 530 violations- not quite 10 times the violations of the entire machining industry..
“Congress has one standard for itself and another for everyone else.“- Melanie Sloan, committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
In other words “Do as we say, not as we do.”
We could go on, but whats the point? You can read the report at this link.
Here’s a wrap up quote from Senator Joseph Lieberman:
 “We are talking about the safety of real people…Congress’s failure to meet OSHA workplace safety standards means that it is putting the health- and possibly the lives- of its workers at risk…This state of affairs is not just bad public relations, it is bad government. (Page 16)
So when you hear all that stuff about how the government is somehow more concerned about safety today- well, now you can see that they don’t practice what they enforce. That the push is for revenue not real safety.
If it was really about safety, wouldn’t you think they’d make it safe to work for the government?
That “new sheriff in town”  and this administration is merely trying to  enhance revenue collection from private manufacturers – shops like ours.
If it was about safety, well, why wouldn’t they start on Capital Hill? Thats where 11250% of the violations are,  compared to machining.

Thanks to for the cartoon.


Actions always speak louder than words.

Made in China. Protect the environment.
Made in China. Protect the environment.

Here’s what GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt,  told the Detroit Press Club back in June:
“We would do much better to observe the example of China. they’ve been growing fast because they invest in technology and they make things.  They have no intention of letting up in manufacturing in order to evolve into a service economy.”
This is the same GE that closed lighting manufacturing plants here in Ohio.
Who decided to close our manufacturing plants here in Ohio, Jeff?
Who decided not to reinvest money here in Ohio to “make things?”
Who decided that absorbing say, $500 000 000  in restructuring costs to close a small number of plants is better than spending,  $40-45 000 000 in reinvestment to make new CFL technology light bulbs here in the USA?
Where do you suppose US workers might get those “green manufacturing jobs” if you’re not building the factories to make light bulbs here in the US?
So before you reach for that  that “green” CFL lightbulb with the GE logo on it, remember the hypocrisy of  Jeffrey Immelt, “20 % of US jobs should be manufacturing jobs,” while closing plants and failing to reinvest to make these “green products” here in the US. 
When you see that ad on TV from GE to “Buy Green,” what they are really saying is “BUY FROM CHINA.”
Note to Jeff Immelt:  US labor productivity is among the highest in the world. Our factories are subject to stringent regulations to assure that we protect the environment. Why would you not want to make this staple “green” product here?
Just wondering.