Dale, shift supervisor for a paper mill in northern British Columbia, Canada, told Session 8B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"While checking the PM dryer basement after a wet end break, I noticed that the rope runs were not blown to the center of the dryer basement floor. I also saw (there was no way you could miss it) that three air hoses were left lying out where anyone could easily trip over them. Our standard for all ropes and air hoses is for them to be coiled up after we are through using them. I immediately walked upstairs to the under station and approached the fourth hand. I started by telling him that I appreciated his part in the proactive clean up required during the break shutdown and that the area was beginning to look better than it has for a long, long time. Then I told him that I noticed he had not blown his rope run to center and that he had left three air hoses uncoiled. I asked the simple Turbo question, ‘What happened that you would leave these important housekeeping safety details incomplete?’ The worker stated that he was in a hurry to get back to his under work station. I reminded him, ‘As you know, our standard is to clear broken runs and blow to the center of the basement all ropes and to coil all hoses before going back to your work station.’ The fourth hand apologized and said he would follow mill standards on ropes and
hoses, keeping to all standards in the future. I told him that I believed he could and would follow this standard for safety and overall excellence. I thanked him for his commitment to safe productivity and left the area. "The lesson I learned from this experience is that people are interested in doing a good job, and that at times, even excellent workers need corrective feedback as a reminder of our standards.
The action I call you to take it talk with all of your people, especially key operators on a regular basis so you gain and keep rapport. Reinforce quality and safety standards on a daily basis. If and when you see excellent performance, praise to the high heavens. If and when you see a failure to conform to quality and safety standards, draw those to the attention of associates immediately. Don’t put it off, don’t wait for a ‘good’ time.
The benefit you will gain is respect from workers. You will feel good about yourself and end up with a well-trained, high performing workforce. You will ultimately hit your well defined, stretch production goals in a safe manner."