To keep employees, listen to them!

The Human Side of Engineering case, "Angry? Count to ten -- more than once," (PE, April 1999, p 16) portrays a widespread attitude in management: That of being unreceptive to constructive criticism from the nonmanagement employees.


The Human Side of Engineering case, "Angry? Count to ten -- more than once," (PE, April 1999, p 16) portrays a widespread attitude in management: That of being unreceptive to constructive criticism from the nonmanagement employees. This attitude deserves closer scrutiny.

In the Human Side case, the company loses employee Gerry Street: "Resigned, at age 36, with a seemingly bright future ahead of him." We go on to hear that the department has a history of unwanted turnover, mostly due to the unchecked temper of the department's supervisor. At this point, the supervisor is warned to keep his temper in check or lose his job.

Let's look at the damage that has accumulated here. First, a number of employees have had their lives seriously affected. They have lived with a stressful situation until finally resigning to find new jobs, possibly uprooting, or even breaking up their families in the process. Second, the company has likely suffered reduced work performance on the part of these employees before finally losing them and their wealth of experience. Finally, after each loss, the company has the burden of finding and training replacement workers.

One might argue that some of the fault lies with the supervisor, who had been warned to change his behavior, but that isn't going to undo any of the damage. What I don't understand is why companies do not provide appropriate means to short-circuit this process. You can be sure that all the Gerry Streets out there would have preferred a quick and easy way to "nip the problem in the bud" so they could concentrate on furthering their careers.

Unfortunately, many employees are caught in a "catch-22'' situation -- if they report complaints, they jeopardize their careers. If they don't, they suffer the consequences of stress and whatever it may lead to. Is there something I'm not seeing here? Aren't we all suffering the costs imposed by this failure by management to attend to some very basic issues of human relationships?

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me