What Your Employees Won’t Tell You About Machinery

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You expect employees to inform you when things that aren’t working to their advantage. But do you expect the converse? Do you expect employees to tell you about things that work to your advantage?

If you do, you probably shouldn’t. Employees face substantial risk when the company they work for signs off on a new machine per their suggestion. Say a company purchases what should be a better machine per an employee’s suggestion, and the machine doesn’t perform up to the company’s expectations. The employee who advocated for the machine will likely incur the wrath of their employer. And on top of that, the same employee will have to fix the machine or tweak it for months until it works properly. The stress of dealing with unhappy managers and an underperforming machine, in this scenario, isn’t worth the possible reward. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. Thus, employees don’t advocate for better equipment and remain content with the status quo.

Alongside the risk, many employees lack any reward that would incentivize them to push for better equipment. A salaried plant manager, for instance, gets paid the same whether your plant has top-performing machinery or not. As long as the plant meets its production goals, he has nothing to worry about, and he has nothing to gain by advocating for anything better. Employees in the purchasing department, as another example, are actually incentivized against buying the best equipment. “Best” isn’t cheap, and purchasing employees look for cheap—their purpose is to save the company money.

Now, maintenance personnel and engineers love it when other departments buy quality equipment for them. There’s less risk. And if something goes wrong, they can blame the kooks who bought the thing.

Employees in purchasing, of course, feel the same way. It’s not their fault if something goes wrong and the folks in engineering purchased the conveyors. But even if Purchasing does buy the cheapest conveyor they could find, and it fails, they can cast the blame elsewhere: it’s the maintenance crew’s fault, they’ll say.

Due to the risk and lack of rewards, fixing problems with material handling equipment will not occur from the bottom up. It’s up to you. The decision to invest in quality equipment to ensure your company makes as much profit as possible must come from the top down.

Contact us today to discuss how our equipment can make this happen.

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