When you hear about a problem with a product, the first thing that goes through your head is “Now why would they do that?” Jumping to conclusions is a dangerous way to run your business. If you really think about it, no one in your company is trying to sabotage your business. More often than not someone has made a minor mistake or an accident occurred.
Before making any judgment, you have to Go See what actually happened. You have to get to the gemba (or the real place) and observe the process. Make sure there isn’t anything irregular on the factory floor.
After you’ve observed, Ask Why. Now that doesn’t mean just asking someone why a problem occurred. You have to ask the right questions. Observing the factory floor should give you an idea of where the issue occurred. From there you can target the right people and ask them targeted questions to resolve the problem.
The final step is Show Respect. We’ve all heard the old adage, “You have to give respect to get respect.” That holds true here as well. Yelling or belittling a worker won’t do anything but make them resentful. Speak to them like a team member and work together to resolve the problem.
It wouldn’t hurt to keep these three simple phrases on a card in your pocket and look at them before you try to dive into any situation. It could be the difference between constructive and destructive problem solving.
Max Coating is a leader in the metal finishing industry, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with an additional location in Atlanta, Georgia. Max Coating provides electrocoating and powder coating services for automotive, industrial and agricultural manufacturers. Learn more at www.maxcoating.com.