During the recent economic downturn, employees often pulled together and worked long hours with pay cuts, while still making quality products. Of course, most companies also usually have at least one or two less efficient employees. So what does this have to do with visualization, you ask? By fostering cooperation and healthy competition, visualization helps stimulate everyone to want to do a good job.
Cooperation and competition work hand-in-hand
Let’s start by taking a closer look at these two different mindsets:
- Cooperation is a great motivator that happens naturally when people belong to a group with a shared purpose. This leads to a sense of duty to the group. For example, consider a scenario of a programmer who just found out he was about to get laid off. What did he do? He ran to enter his changes before getting locked out of the system. He had been working long hours as a member of a tight-knit team with a shared purpose and thus couldn't bear letting the team down with the loss of his recent changes.
- Competition can also be a great motivator when handled properly. Competition is tricky, though, because it can lead to abuses, cheating, shortcuts, and even sabotage. What's the secret to healthy competition? It must be friendly. For example, it would probably cause problems if you gave everyone working on the most efficient production line a free trip to Vegas and canned those working on the least efficient line. Friendly competition isn't about making people feel unappreciated, but rather about inspiring them to do better while having fun doing it.
How visualization plays a big part
Something as simple as using devices such as our Parker Factory Display (PFD) that shows performance metrics on the plant floor can make production line efficiency skyrocket. Showcasing productivity metrics inspires both cooperation and friendly competition.
Think about it. Would you really want to be the reason your production line is less efficient than others?
At the same time, competition remains friendly because the proper metrics are immediate and unbiased while the reward is simple bragging rights. What's more, competition among individuals can be kept in check by showing overall metrics and trends, inspiring plant-wide loyalty.
And here’s the best part…
Cooperation and friendly competition are fun.
Your mom was right when she told you that making a game out of cleaning your room causes the time to go faster. Likewise, showing production metrics can improve morale and productivity because it turns work into a game.
For more information see, Parker Electromechanical Division North America
Article submitted by Brent Meranda, Software Engineer
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