Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Sept Oct 2015

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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8 | September - October 2015 | fter years of traveling the globe designing and implementing best-prac- tice lubrication programs for some of the largest manufacturing and processing facilities, I started making a list of the important qualities from projects that were considered major successes. One attribute that always seemed to appear at the top of the list was communication. As an outside contractor, I can only influ- ence so many things at these facilities. The way in which a viscosity calculation is performed or the decision on how to store lubricants is relatively the same at most every plant, and I can easily make recommenda- tions according to best practices. However, I found myself asking why some companies are able to take these recommendations and make huge strides often within just a few weeks of implementation, while others seem to drag on for months or maybe even years. One commonality I discovered was that every plant that achieved a fast imple- mentation and a quick return on investment had great communication and a culture that thrived on that communica- tion. Most of these organizations had a standard operating procedure for this type of communication. The interaction was almost always face to face and rarely done through videos, publications, large meet- ings or an electronic billboard in the breakroom. Although these are all great communication methods, they lack the punch needed to convey the importance of these projects and only involve one-way communication, leaving a lot to be desired in terms of giving both parties a voice in the conversation. When implementing change, such as when designing or redesigning a lubrica- tion or reliability program, people need to know why the change is being made and how it will affect them. The Question of Why Understanding the need for change is the first step in creating new behaviors within a facility. If you assume that busi- ness processes will change as a result of your lubrication or reliability initiative, then you must assume that behaviors, which are driven by habits and rituals, will also need to change. To drive behavioral change, you must communicate the need for change as it relates first to the overall business and second to those involved. If you expect your team to demonstrate the new values of your business through their own behav- iors, then they must understand why. This is not the "how." Conveying how is simple. The why is a much harder conversation to have and is usually driven by underlying business needs that are not always easy to convey. This conversation should focus on how the change will affect the indi- vidual and why the change is necessar y in the first place. Countless studies indicate that when communicating the business need for change, the most effective communicator in an organization is the CEO. However, the same studies also reveal that when it comes to front-line team members, they prefer to have the why conversation with their direct super visors because they feel more connected and comfortable with them. Why Communication is KEY for a SUCCESSFUL A FROM THE FIELD Jerem y Wrigh t | Nori a Corpor at ioN L u b r i c a t i o n P r o g r a m s Lubrication Program 56% of lubrication professionals say there are poor lines of communication between the front-line workers at their plant and management, based on a recent poll at

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