Making Hotplates What changes in the work situation might account for the increase in productivity and the decrease in controllable rejects? According to the article, the company had 10 workers that were responsible for assembling hot plates with the appropriate tools. Each person was responsible for assembling a part of the hotplate instead of the whole thing. One person would start the hotplate assembly, when they were finished they would pass it to the next, who would begin their part, etc. When the company decided to make each person responsible for an entire plate, productivity turned around.
The reasons for this turn around are less wasted time and a feeling of completing something by the workers. If worker #2 is faster than worker # 1, he will be waiting on #1 to finish so he can get started on his next one. In addition, many people want to have the satisfaction of finishing a product, and when the product is “theirs,” they will take more pride in making sure it is done correctly. The worker said, “Now, this is my hotplate” because he is proud of the work he has accomplished. They now have a sense of ownership when it comes to the hotplate, instead of apiece part of it. Empowering enables people to use their talents and capabilities, fosters accomplishment, invests in learning, finds the spirit in an organization and builds effective relationships, informs, leads, coaches, serves, creates and liberates” (Empowering Manager) What might account for the drop in absenteeism and the increase in moral? Going back to question 1, the reason for the increase in moral is the same reason the productivity increased. It is a sense of completion and satisfaction by the workers with the new assembly process.
They feel like they are important to the company and they can now compete to see who produces the most and who produces the best product with rewards as an incentive to try to be the best. When you have a sense of completion, it makes you want to do the best you can. They were also told that if they did not like the new way of doing business they could go back to the old way. This made them feel as if they had some control over the situation and made them feel like their feelings matter, when before they did not have that. What were the major changes in the situation?
Which changes were under the control of the manager? Which were controlled by workers? The biggest change with the making of hotplates is the assembly process. They went from an assembly line with the first person doing part, the next person doing their part until the last person who boxed it up to ship. The change put each person responsible for making the entire hotplate. By doing this, they increased morale and productivity. The managers were responsible for making the change from an assembly line and increasing the morale by doing so.
Stevenson says that top management has “the ultimate responsibility for quality” (Stevenson, 2009, pg. 417). Stevenson also says one thing high quality does is in the workplace is yield higher productivity which they had after the quality of work changed for the workers. The workers were in control of the productivity increase. What might happen if the workers went back to the old assembly line method? If the workers went back to the old way of business, everything else would go back to the old way too.
This means the workers would start missing days again, morale would drop, and the productivity would drastically decrease. This would happen because the quality of their work has decreased which would then decrease productivity all over again. Now that they have seen how important they feel when they are in charge of the entire hotplates, and not just parts of it, I feel things would be worse than before. References Stevenson, W. , (2009). Operations management (10th ed. ). New York : McGraw Hill/Irwin. The Empowering Manager Is…Briefcasebooks. com