I highly value all the Ebsco Team Members. They work hard, know their jobs and make things happen. I realize that I can’t do what they do and appreciate them all the more for that. So if you told me I didn’t appreciate our team members, I would emphatically tell you that you were wrong! I found out this week that you might be right.
This past week the production supervisor was out on vacation. Our Quality Systems/ISO manger was out on personal business. Our Web Master Multimedia Manager was out on maternity leave. All three of these people are highly valued in our organization and highly appreciated by me. They always have been. So why was I surprised at everything thrown my way with them out. I knew how hard they worked and how self driven they are. I know they do their jobs without direction. I knew they cared about the company. Even with all of that, I obviously take them for granted, or maybe not them but all they do. That’s why I was surprised.
I spoke last week about my new job rotation plan, where I spend Wednesday afternoon in the shop having an individual show me their job and allowing me to help for a few hours. WOW! Have I learned a great deal in two weeks. Mind you, I was aware of the difficulty of their jobs and even understood some of the specifics that make it challenging but until you stand in their shoes you really don’t know. I observed our Coiler Team Lead setting up a machine for a difficult spring. We spent two hours and when we just about were finished, we found that to get the customers specifications on the spring we had to use a larger size of wire. Tear it down, put on a new roll of wire and start again. Only I couldn’t stay for that I had an interview waiting. Two hours gone. Well worth the time but 2 hours gone.
I was reviewing our Facebook statistics last week and watching the readership fall. I have thrown a couple of things up there but there is no way I can make it as interesting as our Web Master. People want to read what she says. Our Web service provider has been changing servers and our website seems to be down as much as it is up for the past week. I have been trying to work with our IT Manager and track it but there just isn’t enough time. I imagine it wouldn’t have been an issue if our Web Master was there. An email here, a call there,an entry on face book and daily tweets, well almost daily, it all adds up. A few more hours gone.
I have attempted to keep up on all of the continuous improvement documents and maintain our non-conformances for our ISO Manager. Talk about a lot of paperwork. It’s important. If we don’t track what went wrong and why, we can’t fix it. But ALOT of paperwork. As I was furiously trying to send out NCRs on several issues someone walked into my office and told me a team member had run into a hand dolly and was injured. I didn’t mention that the ISO Manager also documented and tracked injuries for our safety team. I stopped, rounded up the forms and followed up. The employee was fine but the area the cart was stored was a hazard. Fill out and file the safety incident, write an NCR on the safety risk and how we were going to correct it and have that communicated to everyone. Another hour passed by. By the time I got back to my NCRs I checked my email and two more issues had arrived for another two NCRs. Not done yet. 4:30, time to go, but not for me, I’m still forwarding NCRs. A few more hours have passed by.
I mentioned that I had to leave the coiler set up for an interview. We have a current opening and as applicants came in it is our Production Supervisor’s job to evaluate them. The Production Supervisor was on vacation. Guess who is handling this for the week? My only savior, and I can’t say I’m happy about it, is that unemployment is so low we aren’t getting many aps in. As things came up on the production floor I leaned on my other two supervisors to fill the gap but I still had to remained focused on the little issues. Again, our Production Supervisor usually does this but that vacation thing. Our two other supervisors also handle scheduling and systems so their day-to-day jobs keep them very occupied. They had to find time to do their normal tasks and fill in for the Production Supervisor. That meant that any special projects we had going came to a stop last week. A few more hours gone.
I never added up the hours but I can tell you that I missed them. I have always appreciated the jobs of each one of these people who I spoke of. I knew they were key members of our team. I didn’t realize just HOW valuable they were until they were out. I’m sure I could take these examples and find the same thing with just about any of our team members. Everyone is valuable to the overall team.
“The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
This phrase is from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”. It is called the “Law of the jungle”. I have it posted on my wall and use it to guide my actions. I saw it in real life last week. The pack was much weaker without those wolves and I personally was weaker due to the pack being weaker. Everything I am, comes from everything the pack does, and the pack is made up of all the individual efforts of the wolves.
So if you find yourself in a situation that you begin doubting your team members. STOP Take a few minutes and put yourself in their shoes, as if they were not there. When you do, I think you are going to need to find several more hours in your week.
Time to HOWL!