Original Date: 07/23/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Teaming and Employee Involvement
Nascote looked at employee involvement in 1990 and established several initiatives to introduce teaming and further employee buy-in. There had been little or no employee involvement in company operations other than their performance of assigned duties. A management steering committee and multiple tasks forces ran the Total Quality program with little input or representation from the hourly employees.
Training introduced new team concepts to managers first and then to the remaining employee population. Each employee received several weeks of training in team building and problem solving skills. Leadership training was similarly provided first to managers and then extended to all hourly personnel. Specific empowerment training focusing on communications, conflict resolution, and values was provided to all employees. Upon completion of training, employees were encouraged to pick a problem, form a team, and work through the problem to a solution. Initially there was very high resistance to teams from both employees and management but this was overcome as the team approach was better understood. Gradually, more teams were developed to solve problems and make improvements.
There are 242 active teams at Nascote involving nearly 96% of the workforce. Increasingly, these empowered teams are evolving into self-directed teams; about one-fifth of the employees are now members of self-directed teams. The company encouraged this evolution by providing additional training to employees to facilitate the transition from empowered teams to self-directed teams. The company also provided a number of ways to recognize and reward team achievements such as banquets, team celebrations, thank you cards, gift certificates, trips, family dinners, and company jackets. Nascote teams have also been recognized for their achievements at the state and national levels. They received the Illinois Manufacturing Association Team Excellence Award, the Association for Quality and Participation National Team Excellence Award, and were an Association for Quality and Participation Regional Winner.
Nascote is committed to its teaming concept to build the future of the company. Through employee involvement and team efforts, Nascote secured contracts that guarantee the existence of the company and employment for its workers through the year 2003. Employee involvement is becoming a way of life at Nascote as its teams continue to get involved in business development, planning, and plant-wide operations.
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