Listen above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity. We join the conversation as our two hosts talk about the first of two UNLEASH America-focused interviews…
Allie Nawrat: …Rhonda (Spencer, Barry-Wehmiller’s CPO) was amazing, she was great. I’m really looking forward to seeing her speak at Vegas, I think she’s going to be really exciting. She was just very clear about certain things, which is particularly around this thing, they call ‘people performance in harmony’. And she’s going to be talking about that more at UNLEASH America – she has a whole session on it, actually.
And it’s basically that people are more productive when they’re allowed to be themselves at work – literally what we’re just talking about.
When they’re allowed to take breaks, when they have a good experience at work, they work harder. So you shouldn’t be pushing for productivity over looking after your people – actually the two things go hand in hand.
And this plays into something that Rhonda also says, which I haven’t heard a lot of people say, but I think should be said more, is that all this stuff that’s happening with the Great Resignation, where people are hiking wages, they’re paying people 50% more, sometimes even doubling their wages, to keep them and to attract employees, it’s not sustainable.
You’re gonna get to a year, two years, three years from now and go, oh I’m paying that person too much. So what they’re doing at Barry Wehmiller is to take a much more long-term view, which obviously could create some short-term hiring challenges. But for the long term, looking at this career development, looking at giving people jobs that are sustainable, jobs that are still going to be there in five years, because she said very clearly they will not be laying anyone off who they hire in the Great Resignation. And I think that is going to be an interesting new trend in two years, will we see Great Redundancy or something, because it’s unsustainable, all this wage hike… just you can’t keep paying people double what you pay them now.
Jon Kennard: It’s a very good point; she seems pretty amazing. It’s a really good interview. And, it’s great to hear someone in the manufacturing sector, talk about the people-first attitude and the attitude to safety, both physical and psychological. I really liked the idea of ‘champion cards’. That’s a really cool idea – champion cards [is] basically getting people – let me see if I’ve understood this correctly – where you write down something about your co worker, and you present it to them.
AN: Yeah, they do it in person and they do it virtually. So I think at Barry Wehmiller, they are very back into the office, at least some of the time and how important that connection is. But they’re also making sure those who are at home can still get this champion card, this recognition, which I think is really important, because we’ve also written a lot, haven’t we, about the proximity bias of people in the office versus not being in the office and those at home missing out.
So I think it’s important that they’ve clearly thought this through, and they’re like ‘everyone can be championed through a champion card, not just those who you see every single day’. Maybe we should start doing it at UNLEASH Jon, add it to the list of recognition…
For the full conversation – listen above…