Four tactics successful programs use to get employee buy-in

Discussion in 'Best Practices for Starting a Waste Min Program' started by Andy, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    It always seems that no matter how "high on the ladder" a program or initiative comes from, it always boils down to one things that makes any program work: Has the "front line" really bought-in to the program?

    We saw four tactics that successful waste min programs used to get buy-in from employees:

    1) Clearly defined -- and accessible -- reduction goals
    Setting up goals and measurements for any program can be a tough job... but a common obstacle seemed to be that plants may be asking too much of their first waste min plan. Don't try to come out of the gate with a massive plan spanning 200 materials and goals for each.

    2) Opportunities are "monetized"... helping everyone understand how much money can be saved
    This also relates to setting goals, but helping everyone understand the opportunity in terms of dollars helps both sides of the org get involved... management AND employees. Even with the best support from management, programs that have sof" goals like "getting better" can be hard to track... and hard to keep moving forward over time.

    3) Frequent reminders and status updates
    From color-coded waste bins to signs to reminder training to making successes public, successful programs are continuous. They offer reminders of what needs to be done, and they share successes continuously.

    4) Employee involvement from the beginning
    Creating teams to let those closest to the wastestreams solve the problems and monitor progress is a great way to jumpstart your program quickly. In some cases, it may make sense to create teams to compete against each other, or even for the plant to contribute part of the waste savings to employee funds, raffles, cookouts or charities.

    Those are just four trends we have seen... what tools or tactics have helped your program to get buy-in from employees?
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  2. earlyd

    earlyd Contributor Founding Member 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    Items 1-3 are pretty standard and have little change throughout the programs I have been involved in. I would like to add a commit to the 4th point. Employee involvement form the beginning should be from the end user. I agree with using ideas from the end user but most of the time they get asked after the scope of a project is defined. My challenge would be to make sure you involve the end user from defining to maintaining the completed project. Too many rewards are given out after a project is launched but the end user never bought into it because they get it after the fact and never feel they are part of the monies saved just the horse to pull your cart. Start with them in your brainstorming and see your project become more successful and not just the favor of the month.
    Andy likes this.
  3. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    That is an excellent point, earlyd. Now that you say it, I do think that sometimes those rewards are used to try to "buy" a successful program vs. building it with people in mind from the ground up.

    Especially like this point:
    Sounds like you've seen some good and some bad programs...?