IDEA: Ask employees what process/dept/position/machine holds up their work? Ask often.

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Employees who work in your production facilities know which of your processes work smoothly and which do not. Maybe it is a department or an old machine that slows everyone down. The problem may stem from one untrained employee or a flaw in the company’s written procedures that causes delays. Many employees if asked will tell you what holds them up from completing their jobs. They do not like waiting like anyone. Many if asked will tell you how to fix the problem or give you a good idea where to start.

Instruct your managers to ask their assigned employees what is holding them up every day. They should ask several times a week and encourage their subordinates to offer it automatically. When those employees see their ideas used to solve company problems, they are more likely to contribute regularly. Most employees want to contribute. Publish these positive results and give credit to the contributor if they allow you to give their name out. If you want to see participation rise dramatically, give the best idea for decreasing production lags a check for $200 or $ 300 at the end of the month.   Let everyone see the check and who gets it. Then watch participation jump.

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