Four Rules of Management for Each Department


1) When in doubt, stop the presses. Examine the practices in your own shop. Is it okay for an employee to stop a machine and shut down production because he has a “bad feeling” about what’s being produced? Do you reward that person for just such a shutdown? Maybe you should. The trick is to learn something every single time things grind to a halt while at the same time keeping shutdowns to a minimum. But always keep “stop the presses” an acceptable policy.

2) If there’s a better way to do it, get it out into the open. All the best ideas for running your business are floating around out there in the heads of your employees. Encourage and reward the exchange of these ideas. Follow up on suggestions, and whether you do something with the idea or not, always respond to your employees, explaining why you did or didn’t implement their idea.

3) Put on your customer’s glasses every day before you walk through the door. Sometimes, all it takes to stop your employees in their tracks is to say, “Would you buy this? If you were asked to deliver this order by hand to our customer, what would you change about it?”

Sometimes in the heat of battle, we forget there is a customer involved in this process. If every department has the attitude of pleasing the customer, your business will prosper, guaranteed.

4) Make training a part of your weekly schedule. Learning, relearning, or fine tuning one simple thing in each department each week means that each person in that department has improved on 52 new things each year. That’s probably about 50 more than average. Fifteen minutes, once a week, is all you need to start a mindset of training and learning in your facility.

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