Do you know what “good” look like? While driving home at the end of your shift, how do you know you have a “good” day? What are some of the attributes of having a “good” day at work? What does “bad” look like? Do you know the difference? I have been part of many conversations in my experience where team members say “great job” but when you look at the numbers either for that hour or for the day, they underperformed but the team members still think they had a good day. The worst thing about this situation is that the supervisor does not correct the behavior. The supervisor listens to the conversation but does not correct the behavior of the team member. The team member is left thinking that they “really” had a good day when in reality they had a “bad” day.
Let’s a take a step back and determine what a good day looks like. What attributes do you think make up a good day?
The following are several attributes to review when determining what “good” looks like:
1. You met or exceeded your hourly metrics.
The obvious measuring stick is whether you met your numbers. At the end of the day, the question is always if you met your daily production numbers or whatever metric you are measured against. Does your team know the difference? Are you seeing or hearing comments like “good job team” even when they missed their numbers? This is where you have to step in and coach your team on “this is what bad looks like.” There may have been lessons that were learned but everyone in your team must know the difference between a good and bad day.
2. You minimized the lost time throughout the day.
Did you recognize and address lost time issues in your department? The common discussion that I have when asking this question is “I did not have time to address any issues.” Well, you may suspect what my question would be after hearing (not listening) to his response. “Are resolving issues not important to you? “ Let us not go down this path and focus on the topic of the article. First, you have to learn what is considered Lost Time and install a process to track your lost time effectively. Say, you know the lost time issues in your department, how are you resolve them? If are you followed the problem-solving steps to minimize the issues, then you are on the right track in having a good day.
3. KPI’s such as Utilization%, Load%, Schedule Attainment%, Schedule Adherence%, Productivity%, and Efficiency% were all met.
Are you tracking the right KPI’s in your department? If so, did you meet the targets for the day? It is important to know your department’s KPI’s and how you can directly impact the outcome. Did you meet one KPI target and not the other? It is still considered a “bad” day when not all of your KPI’s are met, but you may be on the right track if you see your KPI’s improve. The question now become what you are doing differently which has caused that certain KPI to improve?
4. You minimized any safety concerns.
One of your goals should include safety. What it includes depends on the goals of your company or organization. Why do you think it important to include safety as a topic? You are right! If someone gets hurt, then all the work that you and your team have accomplished will be less rewarding. Safety should be a topic of discussion every time you conduct huddle meetings before the shift start. Safety is a KPI that relates to people and by being safe you are taking care of your people beyond the workplace.
5. You developed a process to minimize your quality issues.
Does your team constantly get feedback on what “good” looks like when there is a quality issue? It seems that when a quality issue occurs that is the moment the employee is confronted and the issue is addressed. However, do all your employees know what “good” looks like when it comes to quality? It is important for everyone to know what “good” looks like and to distinguish the difference. They must be able to point out the difference between “good” and “bad”. If you ask the question, “Can you show me what “good” looks like?” They should be able to quickly show you the difference.
The list can continue to determine whether you had a good or bad day. What I want you to learn is that too many supervisors and manager do not know the difference between what makes up a “good” day and a “bad” day. What happens is they begin to believe by doing one single event well is considered a “good” or “bad” day but the worst part about this situation is the leaders above them also do not know the difference.
Here is an example of a “good” day conversation:
Manager: Jim, can you tell me if you had a “good” day or “bad” day yesterday?
Supervisor: I had a good day! This is the reason why:
My plan attainment was 94% compared to the goal of 92%. I did have an issue with the schedule but we realized it during our Daily Review Meeting and we quickly adjusted the schedule before we ran out part #xyz. We created a process to ensure this issue does not repeat. Our quality was at 99.5% which was a 1% improvement from last week’s percentage of 98.5%. We are conducting cross training to minimize the gap when we noticed the quality issue the week prior. We are heading in the right direction.
Manager: That is a “good” day! Does your team know this information?
Supervisor: Yes, my team leaders go over these details during their engagements during the day and I verify the communication when I conduct my daily tours.
Someone told me a story once where his daughter competed in a mini marathon. The daughter took second place and she was ecstatic that she did so well. When it came time to honor those runners who took the top spots, the little girl became upset that everyone who participated in the run received a trophy. “Only the winners should get a trophy. That is not fair!” was the comment of the little girl who worked so hard to win. What is the kid thinking that came is last when he/she got a trophy? “Wow, I did good!”
If your team comes in last place, they must know that they did “bad” and include all the attributes/issues which contributed to having a “bad” day. Once your team begins to understand this concept of having a good day and a bad day, they will eventually want to know what they can do to contribute to having more good days than bad days.
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