This article is part of a series of reflections on the Global Network Annual Conference. To view the previous article, click here.
Attending the STS annual conference was a great opportunity to see how participative management translated to real life. I have been to manufacturing plants before, some traditional ones and some other working under STS principles, and what I learned during our visit to the GE Bromont plant is that regardless of the country, industry or technology used, the productivity, efficiency and employee morale are higher when the STS principles are applied.
At GE Bromont I witnessed the passion and the commitment that people bring into their work. Not only the hosts that received us, but also the rest of the employees that were working during our visit showed commitment and love for the job they’ve been doing for so many years and how engaged they are with GE Bromont. This engagement is not the result of a program or a quick fix, but it’s something that the managers have been developing and co-creating with the employes throughout the years. It is the result of involving everyone in the decision making process, of understanding what people need to perform and giving them the tools and the trust to do it.
Being interested in collaboration, training, and organizational development, I asked several questions about these topics, and our hosts agreed that this was a great place to work and people felt proud and grateful of working at such a great place. Creativity, engagement and the need to solve problems in an efficient way, along with enough elbow room to take actions resulted in creative solutions, such as their own ERP, that stands for Excel Rapid Program, which has been a more useful solution for their needs.
For me, this visit was a great opportunity to confirm that STS principles are the best way to engage with the increasing demands of participation, engagement and teamwork that employees bring to the workplace.