Modern Machine Shop

OCT 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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40 MMS October 2017 mmsonline.com THE VIEW FROM MY SHOP Guest Columnist Sometimes our greatest challenges as shop owners or managers are not figuring out speeds and feeds, or selecting tooling, but rather who we have helping us in the shop. Our primar y concerns typically revolve around keeping our customers happy, producing quality parts and meeting delivery dates. If everyone in the shop is doing their jobs, there shouldn't be any issues, right? But what do you do when everyone isn't doing their jobs? How do you manage the people? Our employees are our most important asset; without them, we have no one to run our expen- si ve e quipme nt. So w hy do e s a ppropr iate l y managing them seem to be a very minor, over- looked detail, especially in smaller companies? All too often, employees are scolded, shamed, or even yelled or screamed at. Maybe the man- agement styles we choose deserve some con- sideration. Maybe we should think twice about how we, as managers, conduct ourselves in stressful situations. Af ter all, if our employees aren't happy, things could get dysfunctional pretty quickly. Personally, I have tried to adopt the approach of treating other shop personnel as I wish to be treated. Whether they are mopping the floor or programming parts, everyone's job is important to the functionality of the company. A manager's first reaction to an employee's mistake might be to get upset and snap at that person. However, it is important in that moment to take the situation in stride and look at the bigger picture, to be tactful, and to remember that that employee is there to help the company. I wouldn't want to be yelled at if I make a mistake. The last thing I want to do is overreact when someone else makes a mistake only to have that person later resent me because I flew of f the handle. Long term, this "screamer" approach just seems to create more problems, or maybe even worse, establishes a reputation that I would not be proud of. I like to ta ke th e "m o re -f li e s-w i th-h o n ey " approach. Often when someone makes a serious mistake, the immediate result is consequence enough, and yelling at that person isn't going to fix anything. For example, I recently had a new operator running a job. The program included an M00 code with instructions to move some clamps to a different location on the part before pressing cycle start again. After switching the clamps at the M 0 0, the new operator had accidentally pu s h e d re set a nd the n cyc l e sta r t, a nd this sequence ended up destroying a very expensive face mill. Though I was initially and immediately upset, I h a d to re m i n d my s e l f th a t th i s wa s a n e w employee and his experience was limited. I could tell by his urgent and panicked reaction to hear- ing the face mill crash that he was also upset with himself. Rather than blowing up at him, I took a deep breath and proceeded to show him exactly what had gone wrong. We looked at the M00 command within the program and the related comments that told the operator to switch the clamps and push only cycle start, not reset, to move o n in th e pro g ra m. A l thou g h this n ew operator had successfully run several parts prior to this crash, he was scared to continue running the job, which confirmed to me that making the Management Style Lead by example. How you choose to handle problems in your shop is critical to both your success as a manager and the success of your business. ALBERT RACZYNSKI OWNER MACHINED CONCEPTS LLC ELGIN, ILLINOIS ALBERT@MACHINEDCONCEPTS.COM This Month's Columnist:

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