Captain Unreliability (1)

3 steps for creating an environment of personal responsibility within your facility

March 16, 2022
Learn how to develop an ownership mentality.

Have you ever heard your employees say that they would like to take ownership of their work but feel like they don’t have that power? Yeah, me neither, but it sounds really cool to paint a picture of bliss all the while failing as a leader to nurture the necessary environment needed to make this successful.

Do you feel frustrated by your team’s reluctance to take charge or make quick decisions? I’m sure you are. The best part about this frustration is that it’s your fault. But don’t fret, I am going to give you some ideas on how to fix it.

The great news about all of this is that you are not alone in this frustration. Most leaders of organizations are horrible at this and here are a few reasons why.

  1. Just simply saying “You own this” while leaving them high and dry does not actually do anything.
  2. You stink.
  3. Waiting on the silver bullet that will magically turn things around while you can sit in your office all day on social media is a fairy tale that many believe in to simply ignore having to do work to make it possible.

When it comes to shop floor employees taking ownership, there are a few things this requires. First, it requires competent leadership. Competent leadership involves a few things: an intricate understanding of how the business works, the ability to solve problems, and the genuine ability to care for others and their personal development.

Given that this is the opposite of what many of you think of competent leadership, you should probably do some self-reflection and come to the realization that you have been promoted above your level of competence. This will hurt many people’s feelings because it just slapped their ego. Remember, ego is due to a lack of knowledge, so therefore it creates a vicious cycle.

Tips for this section:

  1. Work on yourself before expecting others to do the same.
  2. Demote yourself and find someone more competent.
  3. Come to the realization you would probably make a better janitor.

The next step is to develop a company culture that is nurtured in a way that we live out our values. At this point, it is not you, but everyone that must have these competencies and share in the same values. In today’s environment, having the same values is discriminatory, so good luck with that.

As a matter of fact, having competency is much of the same, so I wish you well in developing this culture and nurturing it. Competency is a threat to all those in leadership and that therefore makes you unpromotable.

Tips for this section:

  1. Give up
  2. It’s too much work
  3. Requires competency, sooooo...

The last step is empowerment of taking personal responsibility for their area of the business. To teach a group of team members how their portion of the business works and how their day-to-day activity contributes to the overall business objectives in order for them to feel a part of something that makes them want to take ownership in their job function requires, you guessed it, a competent leader. It also requires empowerment, not only vocally, but showing them there is no fear to be had if mistakes are made. Here are a few ways to nurture an environment of personal responsibility.

Tips for this section:

  1. Who cares?
  2. You will never get there
  3. Does it really matter?

So there you have it, three simple steps for creating an environment for ownership and personal responsibility within your facility. As you can see, it is quite simple and just about anyone can do it. Good luck on your journey!

This story originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.

About the Author: The Captain

Sponsored Recommendations

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...

The Importance of Air-To-Cloth Ratio when Selecting Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
Selecting the right filter cartridges for your application can be complicated. There are a lot of things to evaluate and air-to-cloth ratio. When your filters ...