It is not always easy to introduce new routines when workers have been used to a certain way of doing things, especially when it comes to meetings or the lack thereof. If anything, meetings is one of the work practices that people typically want less of and they can often become time sinks if not performed consistently and efficiently.
For the last four years Flemming Pedersen has led VPGs team morning meetings and he truly believes in the lean concept. “Every day at 08:35. It’s a natural part of my leadership and it has become a part of our daily routine, company culture and helps us work well together,” Flemming explains. And as it turns out, colleagues and fellow workers seem to agree.
Creating Routines and Solving Issues
Mikael Vandor, also known as Pelle, has been with the company for 34 years and listens intently at the morning meetings. “We used to only have meetings sporadically until Flemming introduced the daily morning meeting,” Pelle explains. “The consistent morning meetings make quite a big difference.
Quality is one thing but the comradery it brings is equally important. It shortens the distance between managers and workers and helps us solve issues more quickly,” he adds. “Nothing is off limits. Any problem, concern or work-related issue can be lifted and many times one of the other operators has a suggestion and the problem is solved straight away, it’s very helpful,”.
Mustaf Maveiki, who joined VPG in 2018, echoes Pelle’s sentiments. “The morning meetings mean a lot to me. I can plan my work and my life outside of work as I always know what’s going on and how we are doing,” Mustaf adds.
The idea for and reasoning behind the meetings, Flemming explains, is to build a strong team and promote participation, the foundation of a healthy work force. He tells us that they produce more tables today despite having with fewer workers on the line and that accuracy has increased manifold. Process efficiency has gone from 55% to 99%. Opportunities for growth and improvements still exist but are sometimes out of VPGs control, such as global component and resource shortages.
“I’ve worked at several companies over the years and sometimes they forget that people are not robots or machines. Every worker needs to feel valued and have the tools and prerequisites to perform well and go home feeling content with their day’s work. It’s my job to make sure of that,” Flemming explains.
Being Part of a Team
Andreas Axmin also appreciates the morning meetings and how it helps him plan his work. “I know long in advance when busy or calmer periods occur which means I can plan ahead and perform maintenance and service when appropriate,” he explains. “It informs me of the bigger picture, and my part in it, which is stimulating and makes me feel like part of the team,” Andreas adds.
It is safe to say that the lean team morning meetings will not be going anywhere. If only requires a short amount of time and the value it creates throughout all present parties and workers is readily apparent. “If nothing else, we have a lot of fun, which in and of itself is worth a great deal,” Flemming concludes.