Four mitigation strategies for solving your plant's reliability problems

How to recognize employee behaviors that can negatively impact a plant's reliability and/or product quality and do something about it.


Let’s talk about the four employee traits present in your plant that are possibly limiting your ability to improve up-time, quality, and reliability. The first step is to recognize that these traits exist, and then The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Bloggoing forward, plant managers are better equipped to implement a plan to mitigate or eliminate them. Below I have identified four employee behaviors that can negatively impact a plant's reliability and outlined a series of mitigation strategies. While proper risk and communication planning can best prevent some of these behaviors, we will dissect a series of reactive responses.

1. Negativism: The disposition to project the worst case scenario

Sounds like: "This CMMS is horrible. It takes 16 screens to do what I could do in one second using the old system."

Mitigation: Focus on the positive and don't let meetings become bashing sessions. Celebrating little successes or steps in project plans can turn a negative conversation around.

2. Criticism: The disposition of being incomplete and/or imperfect

Sounds like: "This new process is not good enough to roll out. Let's continue to work on it."

Mitigation: Create a pilot area where it is OK to fail and trial the processes there with a mind for continuous improvement. These safe zones clear the way and the fear of failure and allow for progress not paralysis.

3. Skepticism: The disposition to always question but never commit

Sounds like: "I'm not sure we have enough data to show that this will work. Let's collect more." Or, "That will never work here. We are too different."

Mitigation: Show case studies or real-world examples from similar sites that have succeeded. Visit sites or invite sites to visit you once they have had success. In addition, plant manager can allow negative folks to mix with their positive ones.

4. Cynicism: The disposition to view other employees as selfishly motivated

Sounds like: "Maintenance just wants us to do autonomous maintenance so we can do their work for them"

Mitigation: Fully communicate the intent of the initiative and how it affects each individual, as cynicism loves to attack the ill-informed.

Join the discussion: What are you doing on your site to address these negative behaviors?

Shon Isenhour specializes in Business Process Management, Adult Education, Strategic Planning, Organizational Change Management, Leadership, and Reliability Engineering with SMRP and Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, associate content manager, CFE Media,

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