Video Work Instructions give manufacturing technicians answer to increasing employee engagement: a new day, a new task.
by Desiree Schnoor
Manufacturing technicians who work, doing the same tasks day after day and year after year understandably lack motivation, morale and overall job satisfaction. Workers can become bored, slowing production, or become overly confident in their tasks, increasing risk of injury.
However, there are some positives to employees doing repetitive tasks, including becoming an expert at the task, growing their tribal knowledge, and attaining a high level of replicability and overall production rates.
A recent Gallup article reports that only 25% of manufacturing employees are engaged at work- well below the 33% national average, and the lowest levels reported in any sector. To increase employee engagement, “Great manufacturing leaders figure out the amount of control they can give back to the employees, which allows them some choice in potentially rote procedures.”
The problem is, in industries like manufacturing where many employees have prescribed tasks and spend most or all their time in repetitive tasks, there is not much room for flexibility.
One effort being implemented at some companies is cross-training select employees to learn new tasks. This includes moving workers from their current stations and training them part-time on new tasks. This increases employee engagement and satisfaction, but this method is not possible for all employees as it would greatly slow overall production, and is not time or resource efficient.
Now, a quality engineering company called Virtual QE has developed a new and better way to offer flex work and increase employee engagement in manufacturing. Video Work Instructions train technicians using a first-person view of an expert technician completing a task. This drastically reduces training time for new tasks, in turn, allowing managers the ability to offer technicians station mobility. Both new and veteran technicians can learn new tasks quickly and correctly, and tribal knowledge is captured for an infinite number of employees to use, an infinite number of times. Video Work Instructions do away with traditional step-by-step work instructions, so technicians avoid frustrations, revisions, errors and reduce training time.
With video, technicians are able to diversify their work by quickly and easily learning new tasks at new stations, and gain increased morale and overall job satisfaction, day in and day out.
Desiree Schnoor holds degrees in psychology and public health. Her interests lie broadly in health and well being. She spends the majority of her efforts and love on her husband and four children. She has used her communication skills in health education and promotion for a large wellness corporation, as well as starting a women's mentoring program. She is utilizing her skill set at Virtual QE to convey the "quality of life" aspects of quality engineering.