Steps to In-plant Success
I AM A MANAGER of an in-house printing facility supporting multiple departments for a global corporation. Recently, my department survived a wave of outsourcing largely because we were able to prove that our place in the organization was necessary because of the value we add to the company's core business.
Allow me to begin by overstating the obvious. There has been an overwhelming trend to outsource any function that is not directly connected to an organization's core business. Those within the company tasked with making these determinations clearly have an agenda: to save the company money. Makes sense, I would think. But what they miss is the intangible cost of doing business that way, which ultimately impacts the company's bottom line. And that's your job. You must prove your value. Here's how you start.
Build a Solid Team
You can't succeed without teamwork. How do you do that? It's not always easy because each player on your team has his or her own personality and approach to achieving goals. You have to keep everyone on the same page at all times. Hey, you're in charge; you're the captain. You need to plot the course clearly and concisely, and communicate that direction extremely well. And you need everyone on your team to buy into that. So how do you do that?
First, build trust. You need a solid foundation. Those who report to you need to respect you and know that you are there to support them to get their job done. That can come in a number of ways.
First and foremost, always listen, be objective and allow them to grow and develop through training. Let them out of their comfort zones. Encourage cross training. Empower them to make decisions. Reward good behavior. And never penalize someone for making a bad decision. I would rather someone make the wrong decision than not make a decision at all. At least you have a 50/50 chance when you empower people to make decisions. When they stumble, they learn, grow and become better team players for it. Once you build a strong team, a strong foundation, you're good to go. Direct subtly, direct judiciously, provide support and reward all positive efforts.
Related story: Promote Your In-plant's Value