Most responses to this question may be “yes, both”.  OK, but when you implemented labor management, was the main focus on software integration and configuration?  OR was it on gaining associate buy-in, transitioning to a performance based culture, and providing your management team with the tools & skills required to succeed?  Perhaps some of both?

The keys to successful and sustainable labor management programs are NOT labor management software or labor standards – although both are certainly important to administer these programs.  Not to mention, there are a lot of people out there knocking on your door trying to sell software and engineering services.  Effectively managing your work force is the main objective.  This is a team effort and requires collaboration between your associates, supervisors and management.

Consider the following questions as they relate to your labor management program:

  • Are your associates involved in identifying and solving operational issues?  Are they trained on best methods and following SOP’s?  Do they utilize their time wisely?  How is their attitude? Do they feel valued and engaged?
  • Are your supervisors visible on the floor and proactively managing the operation?  Are they making sure that supplies and materials are available?  Do they understand the flow of product through the facility?  Do they know SOP’s and best methods?
  • Are your managers engaged with associates on a daily basis, providing performance feedback?  Do they provide training to associates who are below performance expectations?  Are they aware of bottlenecks and capacity constraints?  Are they staffing the operation to daily volumes & product mix?  Do they make staffing adjustments during the course of the shift as conditions change?

The real key to a successful labor management program is the level of engagement of your team.  Valued associates will perform to expectation as long as they receive support from management.  Managers being visible on the floor, proactively solving problems and coaching associates IS that support.

According to motivational theorists, recognition and achievement are two of the most effective factors in motivating people.  The foundation for lasting and effective labor management programs is leveraging these factors and making it part of their daily routine.  The level of engagement between management and associates is the secret to their success.

Crimson & Co (formerly The Progress Group / TPG) has rebranded as Argon & Co following the successful merger with Argon Consulting in April 2018.

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