Original Date: 06/02/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Employee Involvement
Throughout most of Sharretts’ history, employee involvement has traditionally been very strong. Most employees stayed with the company for a long time. Gradually over time, this base of long-term employees was replaced by younger, more transient, and less-educated employees. As the workforce’s nature changed, work ethics and employee loyalty eroded throughout the company. In addition, the region’s low unemployment and a shortage of qualified candidates complicated Sharretts’ ability to attract and retain knowledgeable, dedicated employees.
In response to these developments, Sharretts established a formal employee involvement program. Weekly management meetings are held between the plant manager and key area supervisors. Participants review the events from the preceding week and discuss plans for the upcoming week. Improved communication throughout the plant and overall awareness of operations and requirements are the main benefits gained from these meetings. Sharretts’ management team also examines ways to increase employee participation. Various employee suggestion and recognition programs have been tried in the past with limited success.
Sharretts recognizes training as an important aspect of employee development and involvement. Prior to undergoing ISO 9002 certification, the company did not have a formal training program for its employees. Now, Sharretts has established a formal program to cross-train its employees. The training program allows employees to get involved in more aspects of the plant’s operations, and gives the company greater flexibility for meeting its customers’ requirements.
Weekly meetings of the plant’s maintenance personnel have also been established to review ongoing maintenance requirements, identify needed improvements, and plan future maintenance projects. These meetings enable Sharretts to improve its management of maintenance resources, effectively plan for preventive maintenance, help contain maintenance costs, and efficiently increase its operations.
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