Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Human Side of Reliability...

In the Reliability community we often find ourselves focused on the equipment, the tools, and the process and often overlook the human element.  It seems counter intuitive, and yet we are all guilty of it.  That’s why this year’s Ultrasound World keynote presentation focused on the people.  

Cliff Williams, Corporate Maintenance Manager at ERCO Worldwide, presented on “Creating the Environment for Success,” where he brought culture and the work environment to the center stage of a successful Reliability program.  Focusing on the people side of things seems like a logical first step for any maintenance manager if they want to improve Reliability, and yet I see so many adversarial relationships when I visit plats. Many plants have a strong “Us vs. Them” attitude and Cliff did a great job of showing how to break down those barriers.

We’ve all heard the “we’ve always done it that way” and “that’s not my job” statements (we can all probably agree that we’ve personally said those things) and yet if you pair that kind of negative environment with even the best Reliability program, success will never be within reach. 

Cliff shared that it’s up to the leaders of an organization to CREATE an environment for success. 
With one of the biggest lessons being that our attitudes affect the behavior of others and so on and so forth which is illustrated in the Betari Box below.

Betari Box

This idea of self examination, taking into account how my attitude (good or bad) can affect those around me really resonated with me.  Cliff stressed the importance of asking yourself, “what am I doing that I should continue?” and “what am I doing that I should change?”  This is a daily exercise that we should all be doing and we should encourage those around us to do the same. 

At the end of the day, the people we surround ourselves with at work and in our personal lives have a huge impact on our success.  Cliff reminds us that we need to focus on trust and ensure that we not only demonstrate the trust we have in others but that we ensure it is earned and that we constantly work to develop that trust that others have in us. 

Doug Waetjen, CMRP


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