Our client faced significant maintenance improvement and performance issues: hiring qualified technicians, high turnover, poor practices, unqualified management promotions, and an overall negative workplace culture.
Our client, one of the nation’s leading poultry processors, broke ground on a new production facility in the middle of the country in late 2019.
Unfortunately, the new plant immediately experienced difficulties filling positions, in small-town America, in a tight job market.
Finding qualified maintenance technicians an hour away from the closest metropolitan area proved to be a challenging task. As a result, the company’s COO lamented, “we are hiring electricians who are unable to wire up a motor.”
In addition to having a relatively untrained maintenance staff, the supervisors and managers were promoted into their positions because they did have maintenance skills. However, they were not selected because of their management skills.
This promotion strategy resulted in a gap in the effectiveness of follow-up and coaching. Supervisors tended to “do” rather than coach and train their teams.
The culture within the facility was also negative in nature. Ineffective communication of the mission statement and goals of the organization resulted in people coming to work every day and doing what they thought was best, with no understanding of the desired results. Some prioritized their individual goals over those of the team.
Due to the lack of maintenance skills and supervisory follow-up, turnover at the facility was above 58% in 2022, resulting in a constant cycle of hiring and training.