The Continuous Improvement Blog

8 ways to engage staff when implementing Total Productive Maintenance

Written by Colin McArdle on 03 Jan 2018

total_productive_maintenance.jpgWith a pragmatic approach to implementing Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), you can transform your manufacturing performance. No more breakdowns, delays or defects impacting productivity and customer satisfaction.

But for every TPM success story, there are others who have failed in their pursuits.

The short and long-term success of TPM is reliant on changing the mindsets and behaviours of Maintenance and Production teams. Maintenance staff need to avert their attention from “fixing” to “preventing” problems. And Production staff need to be open to taking on some responsibility for maintaining equipment. 

So engaging them early on in TPM will be crucial. And in this blog post, we discuss eight key ways to do this.

1. Clear and consistent communication

Why are you implementing TPM? What does it involve? How will my job role change? What are the benefits? These are all questions you can expect teams to ask as you embark on a journey of rolling out TPM across your operations. You need to be one step ahead, educating them before any concerns are born. And when communicating your plans, give staff a chance to ask questions.

2. Build momentum with quick wins

A series of quick wins early on will build momentum. Pilot projects should be easy to implement but big impact. This way everyone can see the benefits from the get-go.

It’s crucial that these first changes are made smoothly. If people see the initiative fail, it will be much harder to implement TPM in the future. Comprehensive training in TPM activities and careful consideration of which equipment to prioritise will be key.

3. Effective leadership

As with any new initiative, leadership can make or break it.

For TPM, leadership should primarily be the responsibility of senior management. Leaders should be tasked with communicating TPM and encouraging everyone towards the same goals. They need to inject energy into the initiative, allowing new ingrained behaviours to be easily absorbed. And to avoid the natural tendency of staff to fall back into old ways of working, leaders should lead by example.

Leaders should be supported by a group of individuals from every level of the organisation, from management to the factory floor. 

4. Employee recognition

Recognising desired behaviours can be a powerful way of engaging staff. In the context of TPM, this could be a monthly award or trophy for the Best 5s Area, or for the Biggest Autonomous Improvement.

5. Training and education

As one of the 8 pillars of TPM, this is key. TPM is a company-wide initiative, so everyone at all levels, from operators to senior managers, need training and educating on preventative and predictive maintenance. If staff feel confident in their role and responsibilities, they’ll be much more motivated and confident in leading on TPM activities.

6. Create a foundation with 5s

Before implementing TPM in your organisation, you need to have created a 5s workplace - a well-organised and clean working environment. By engaging staff in the 5s approach (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, Sustain), you’ll already be halfway to convincing them of the benefits of TPM.

7. Communicate OEE

Production staff may be aware that equipment is running slowly, or that defects pull down your overall productivity. But do you have tangible ways of showing your employees how well equipment is performing? This is where calculating Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be useful.

OEE measures the percentage of time a piece of equipment is producing quality products at the designated throughput rate. By demonstrating that OEE for a piece of equipment is only 70% for example, you give staff a clear and tangible indication of how much better it could be. Therefore driving motivation and momentum for improving its efficiency.

8. Give staff a voice

When determining TPM goals and identifying problematic equipment, staff should be your number one resource. Walk the factory-floor, talk and listen to machine operators and maintenance staff, and identify bottlenecks and troublesome equipment where downtime is critical to process flow.

Many manufacturing organisations implement TPM in pursuit of maximising the operational efficiency of equipment and ultimately, increasing productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction. But without the support of managers, maintenance teams and production staff, resistance will kill the initiative before it even gets started.

Hopefully these tips have given you some food for thought in how to engage your staff in TPM initiatives. 



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Topics: TPM

Colin McArdle

Written by Colin McArdle

Colin McArdle, the Founder and Managing Director of Kaizen Kulture is a Lean and Six Sigma Master Black Belt who has over 30 years industry experience. Kaizen Kulture's mission is to be true to the ethos of continuous improvement.