Importance of human connectivity in improving factory performance

human factor in performance improvement


We mostly talk about the technical things and implement the same when it comes to improving shop floor productivity. Somehow we forget that productivity improvement depends on the human connectivity (interpersonal relationship between the workers and managerial staff) in a garment factory. It is the workers on the shop floor who need to do the work to make production happen.

This article is written by Babul Singh who is an industrial engineer. He has shared his observations on "connectivity and productivity". He is working in the apparel manufacturing sector for more than 10 years. 

My observations:

In mass garment production, usually, sewing lines are set up with around 30 to 35 Machines. Normally, a company assigns one line supervisor to each production line to manage the production and control workers. They are supposed to take care of employees' needs and resolving issues they face during working hours.

Unfortunately, the line supervisor has been not aware of those manpower name and their skill level. It’s surprising fact in our industry.

A floor in-charge and floor QAs who used to heading 150 to 180 machines with 200 manpower. It has been observed that they are not aware of their workers’ details.

Even if the operators or downline team who are working different positions for a long time in the same company, they are not connected with the company and their seniors properly.

We can term this ‘employee connectivity’ or ‘people connectivity’.

The lack of employee connectivity decreases company’s productivity and effects on daily production. All the investment companies do for productivity improvement and hiring external experts would not be much effective where there is no emotion and attachment to the production floor.

It has been often observed that shop floor workers do not get respect from their supervisors and by quality control personnel. As the supervisor does not know the employees' names working in his/her line, they used to call workers using pronouns like “e topi 🎩 kam kar le”, “O black shirt idhar aa” or “oye chasmis idhar overlock pe aa”. 

This kind of culture obviously has a negative impact on the shop floor workers.

We know there is high labor turnover in garment factories in some regions. Due to this human resource department (HRD) team who used to introduce new joiners on daily basis, cannot give time to introducing each employee to the existing team members and supervisors.

I think if the shop floor workforce develops a good relation (a professional one) with their in-charges they will give more effort and concentrate of the work and produce high more garment with better quality. This will impact the factory’s overall performance level.

Conclusion:

I want to conclude my point of view with a positive note. When a line supervisor knows all operators and helpers by name and is aware of individual operator’s skills, they can easily connect with the efficient employees for managing the line. Supervisors can connect and motivate them when they know about their expertise in sewing operations. 

Motivation and encouragement should be also done on regular basis. When a supervisor does not know an employee by their name and does not know who they are, only knows them by headcount, it would be a difficult job for getting the best work from the operators.

Let’s encourage and recognize workers for their good work. This action would make operators efficient, they will stay motivated and positive throughout the day.