Efficient Plant April 2021 - 6

column | implementations

Line of
Site Clarity
Drives
Engagement
Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability
and Maintainability Center
(RMC)

Engaged employees have low absenteeism,
contribute improvement ideas, and achieve
better business results.

Based in Knoxville, Dr. Klaus M. Blache is
director of the Reliability & Maintainability
Center at the Univ. of Tennessee, and a research
professor in the College of Engineering.
Contact him at kblache@utk.edu.

6

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EP2104implementations.indd 6

L

INE-OF-SIGHT (LOS) HAS
been called goal cascading and
business-plan deployment. Most
companies post missions and goals on
their walls, but how many employees
below top leadership understand and can
explain them, including what they mean
and how to achieve them?
If your employees are not clear on
what they can/should do to support
those goals in daily decisions and
activities, then you're missing a big
opportunity. Engaged employees want
to improve company performance. It's a
long-standing fact that highly engaged
people have less absenteeism, contribute more improvement ideas, are more
productive, and achieve better business
outcomes. What team-member LoS to
critical objectives/metrics provides is
clarity for each individual as to their
responsibilities and how they contribute
to the operational big picture. Each
individual should be able to see how
their daily purpose and goals connect to
and support their organization's goals.
In plant floor visits, I ask employees
what the plant goals are, what the group
goals are, what they do. In some places
the answers are similar to, " I don't know
the plant goals, the group goal is to make
daily production numbers, and I just
make sure that my two parts are put on
in time. "
Sometimes I'll hear, " The plant goal
is zero accidents and quality defects,
the group goal is not to pass on quality
defects, and I am part of a workforce that
builds the best cars in North America. "
The latter group can usually go into great
detail about why their role matters, what
they've recently done as an improvement
effort, and speak with pride.
According to Gallup (news.gallup.

com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx):
" The percentage of 'engaged' workers
in the U.S.-those involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their
work and workplace-is now 34%, tying
its highest level since Gallup began
reporting the national figure in 2000. "
In March 2016, Gallup also reported that
34% of U.S. employees were engaged,
along with 16.5% who were " actively
disengaged " -a ratio of two engaged
workers for every disengaged person.
The percentage who are " actively
disengaged " -workers who have miserable work experiences-is now at its
lowest level (13%), making the current
ratio of engaged to actively disengaged
employees 2.6-to-1; the highest ever in
Gallup tracking.
The remaining 53% of workers are in
the " not engaged " category. They may be
generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their
work and workplace. They will usually
show up to work and do the minimum
required but will quickly leave their
company for a slightly better offer.
On average (over Gallup's 18 years of
tracking), 30% of employees have been
engaged at work and 17% of U.S. workers
have been actively disengaged.
The 53% " not engaged " are the
people who should be targeted for a LoS
initiative. It has the potential to improve
culture, accelerate implementation
of strategies, reduce absenteeism and
employee turnover, and increase profit.
If implemented correctly, you should
not have to tell employees how they
contribute to their role. They should be
telling you. Employee engagement will
determine the new level of organizational success. EP

APRIL 2021

3/26/21 8:40 AM


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Efficient Plant April 2021

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Efficient Plant April 2021 - Cover1
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Efficient Plant April 2021 - 1
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