#Employees are not just numbers with a name

As we all know the health check of a #Production or #Operational #Process is its #performance against defined KPIs and targets.

We speak daily about FTEs (Full time Equivalent), man-hours and process throughputs ,FTE savings, how we decrease man-hr per unit of finished product, how we can increase process throughput, etc. But often, not much attention is given to what is behind an FTE count, a man-hr and the output per unit of time.
I took part to a meeting where a member who hammered down this message in his organization: “Know your numbers! Be prepared to speak about your latest results’ figures.”. When asked about his people, he said : “ they are here to do the work, and nothing else. In fact they are just numbers with a name.” I have witnessed the psychological havoc caused by those words and way of thinking.

Topics about required number of FTEs , savings in FTEs, reduction of FTEs are common during budget and operational review meetings. Often, projects or initiatives to improve process throughput aim to decrease the man-hr. per unit of finished product and increase the units of output per unit of time.

Continuous improvement, and constantly challenging the status quo are crucial to be ahead of the competition and to avoid stagnation or extinction.

It is beneficial to remember that there is a physiological and psychological side to performance numbers.Behind every FTE count and performance results is a human being with emotions.

How you take care of the human side of the performance number will positively or negatively affect work place emotions.

The collective state of work place emotions will create the intangible impact in the value of your FTE count, man-hr. per unit and process throughput.

Strive to keep an able and motivated team.

  • If you want to be respected, actively show respect.
  • Take time to genuinely listen to your people.
  • Take the time to know the talents and skills of your people and recognize these.
  • Give your people the opportunity to use their talent and skills optimally and to further develop them.
  • Encourage your people to give feedback about your leadership, and the current way of working in their work area.
  • Take action on the feedback you received from your people.
  • Encourage your people to give their inputs to improve current ways of working.
  • Make time to give honest and open feedback periodically. Do not give your people ‘last minute surprises’.
  • Call their attention to correct wrong behavior or below target output.
  • Show genuine appreciation for their part in producing the overall results.
  • Your people’s time is not lesser in value than yours. Be on time for scheduled meetings.
  • Commend good work, or contribution to the success of a project or initiative.
  • Do not promise your people things that you cannot realize.
  • Involve your people in searching for solutions to current challenges.
  • Use the year end reviews / performance evaluations to give feedback and look for development opportunities. Never use it as means to punish or as a channel for professional revenge.
  • Demonstrate and encourage discipline and responsibility.

When you take care of the human side behind the number, you deal with the immeasurable and the unquantifiable part of the process.

When people are valued , respected and allowed to use their talent and skills in the work, they usually deliver better results, and will go the extra mile to deliver the required output. There is a big difference in one’s output if ‘pushed from outside’ ( someone required him/ her to do it ) or ‘pulled from within’ ( they are motivated to do it / they want to do it).

Motivation, passion, and the will to deliver better results always come from within one’s self. It cannot be imposed.Only the human factor behind the FTE count, man-hr. per unit and units produced per hour has control over these.

By consciously taking care of the human side of your performance numbers, you automatically bring a positive influence on the human factor behind your number of FTEs , man-hour per unit, and other related performance KPIs . These are the ‘ X factors ‘ that create the non-tangible positive effects to your performance.

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