Who is Dan? Dan’s been around for a long time and he isn’t going anywhere soon. He possesses a keen power of foresight - which is to say that he knows what is going to happen before it happens, evidenced by his most common refrain, “I told you so.” His experience is quite valuable, and could do wonders for some of the newer workers who recently arrived on the team. Unfortunately, Dan isn’t the best communicator, and interactions with him often end with a frustrated, throwing-my-hands-in-the-air type of gesture.
WHY is Dan dumping? WHY is every problem that he sees “someone else’s problem”? The answer lies in the manner of his engagement with the company. Dan’s engagement has been completely one-sided. Dan files a safety report about a condition he has observed, and the response is… nothing. Dan tells his manager about an idea he has for a more efficient process, and the response is… crickets.
Now Dan knows the truth - no one is listening to him, and his performance is taking a turn for the worse. To make matters worse, Dan is bringing the culture and morale of this team down with him. Seeing the lack of action on the part of management, Dan decided he didn’t need to take action either, and began cutting corners. After all, if management is willing to ignore his concerns, maybe he should too.
Real, ongoing, integrated engagement is the solution to the problem presented by workers like Dan. When Dan submits a safety concern - respond to it. If Dan has an idea for a process that can be improved - ask him for more information. If Dan reports a problem that he could have easily addressed himself - assign it back to him. This kind of engagement leads to Operational Accountability, which is an important piece of Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence.
Engagement is a two-way street and requires a platform to facilitate interaction across teams of workers, supervisors and managers. A digital, transparent channel for communications removes barriers that are keeping Dan from reaching his full potential as a worker. When management responds to and resolves Dan’s concerns transparently, Dan will understand his own responsibility for building a culture of safety and productivity.