Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Sept Oct 2015

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 4 of 71

Y REMEDIES for a Bad Maintenance CULTURE ou may not be surprised to know that most companies need a culture intervention — something like a 12-step program. This column will discuss behavioral issues that are often at the core of a culture of neglect and medioc- racy. It borrows much from management science and leadership principles. Over the years, we have had hundreds of conversations on this topic with individ- uals working in the field of maintenance and reliability. Some come from organiza- tions infected with culture problems, while others represent businesses that have emerged from a successful transforma- tion. Then there are those organizations that achieved transformation but regressed to their bad habits and past addictive practices. Of course, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Past behavior establishes reputation, which many people use to judge others. You can judge culture in a similar way to help predict future mainte- nance and reliability performance. Behavior, values and decisions are all components of employee engagement. Engagement sharply impacts individual and business performance. A positive, nurturing maintenance culture is a critical plant asset. Consider that when people do good work, they feel good about themselves and their job. When people do bad work, they feel bad about themselves and their job. Feeling bad is a serious morale problem that multiplies and spreads. The simple solution is to enable people to do good work that is recognized and celebrated. This is both problem and solution. Culture drives behavior. Behavior influences quality of work. Quality work is funda- mental to plant reliability and the cost of reliability. Why do we care? Reliability fosters job security and builds shareholder value. Bad culture is dysfunctional and sparks a chain of despair for all stake- holders. No amount of expertise in lubrication and machine reliability will overcome the destructive aftermath caused by rotten maintenance culture. It has inertia that over time becomes increasingly diffi- cult to change. Good culture has inertia, too. It fuels a chain of reinforcing successes. Small successes beget larger and more sustain- able successes. Creating a good culture starts and ends at the top, at the leadership level. When good leaders are in charge, everyone wins. When bad leaders are in charge, the culture becomes negative/ hostile/stagnant, and everyone loses. Good culture also emerges from management's aspiration for improvement and the inherent desire to do good work. It relates to skills, tools, work plans and machine readiness. So how do you create an envi- ronment that fosters good culture? Signs of a Bad Maintenance Culture Breakdown maintenance and bad main- tenance culture go hand-in-hand. Constantly reacting to machine failure demotivates maintenance staff. In such cases the plant's machines control the work schedule, not the other way around. This reminds me of the phrase, "People don't quit their jobs; they quit their bosses." Employees quit because they aren't prop- erly managed or leadership hasn't created an appropriate organizational culture. Regardless, good culture is the remedy for most things. Machine reliability is a behavioral science, cascading down from management to the plant floor. Years of root cause anal- ysis (RCA) has confirmed that bearings don't just die; they're murdered. They are AS I SEE IT Jim Fi t ch | Nori a Corpor at ioN M a i n t e n a n c e a n d R e l i a b i l i t y

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