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It is my belief and experience that operators don’t want to do a bad job.  They want to do what is asked of them and do it to the best of their ability.  But, we still see instances where operators aren’t following the established procedures.  And when that happens, we need to understand why so steps can be taken to address the issue(s).question-sign-1147715-1279x3345

If you find yourself asking why your operators aren’t following procedures, here are some questions you can ask to help get to the root cause of the problem.

Were the instructions clearly defined? It may be clear in your mind how things need to be done, but, without providing detailed instructions, the task may be left up to the operator’s interpretation.

Are there visual reminders as to what needs to be done?  Don’t rely on an operator to remember all the details of a particular process.  Make procedures available for reference or post standard work on the floor to remind operators of the proper way to do a particular task.

Is there a better way to do it? Operators who do a particular task on a repetitive basis may have a more efficient way.  Making yourself open for improved techniques will make the operators more likely to share their ideas, rather than doing it their way when you aren’t around.

Do the operators need refresher training? No matter the task, after a certain amount of time, an operator might need a little refresher training. The frequency of the refresher training could be impacted by the availability of visual reminders.

Have the operators been properly trained? There are times when the training wasn’t sufficient for the operators.  If that proves to be the case, then it may be necessary to assess the effectiveness of your training and/or the trainer.

In the next blog, we will look at ways to assess the effectiveness of your trainer.

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to