One of eleven national roof manufacturing plants, the Portland location had been experiencing declining revenue and profits for several years.With the appointment of a new plant manager, key production metrics and revenue have increased significantly over the past two years. These results have elevated the plant to be one of the most efficient when compared to others.
Problems & Challenges
Supervisors struggling to handle union operator issues that eventually required management intervention to correct and resolve personnel problems.
Supervisors unclear on their role, responsibility, and accountability, preferring that management “tell” them what to do.
As a result, the plant manager had to shift 30% of his weekly time away from strategic vision, quality data-base implementation, run-rate improvements, and corporate reporting to manage employee issues that supervisors are responsible for addressing and resolving.
…our supervisors don’t know when to ask for help. Then, I hear about people who are upset on a shift after the problem has gotten out of control.Matt Prue, Plant Manager
Approach & Solutions
The Leading Edge
1. Assessment of each supervisors and managers strengths, limitations, and development needs, using customized tools (communication assessment and 360 feedback), observation, review of performance records, focusing on ways to address and act on workplace issues/problems.
2. Creation of a Leadership Development Plan (LDP), built to reflect the unique skill, experience and development needs of supervisors.
3. Presentation by each supervisor of his/her own Leadership Development Plan (LDP) to plant manager, regional manager, fellow supervisors, and HR manager for review, performance alignment, and support for IDP.
4. Regularly-scheduled “hold-your-feet-to-the-fire” meetings with supervisors and plant manager to measure progress, provide coaching, and identify on-going gaps.
5. Evaluation and calibration to measure progress three to six months later.
Plant manager now devotes more management time to production run rates and quality improvement initiatives, leading to approximately $500,000 net benefit.
Increased supervisory accountability:
[The supervisor]… feels much more comfortable discussing performance with an employee. Also, I have noticed on a couple of different occasions that supervisors have handled personnel issues and ‘laid down’ which ended the problem before it ever got to me.Matt Prue, Plant Manager
I was very happy to see eveyone taking ownership. I credit this to improved communication between the supervisors and myself since we started this [Development Planning]. In the end, it all goes very smoothly. The plant and management look good and well-organized.
Matt Prue, Plant Manager