We’ve already seen why work instructions should be taken seriously. But we also know that for most companies, procedure management is a pain. Those documents are rarely read or updated.

The number one reason why work instructions are inefficient:

They are written by managers or engineers that don't execute the work.

In most cases, instructions are for operators.

Problem #1: Operators perceive the work instruction as a “theoretical document” written by someone who has never done the work by himself.

Problem #2: People don’t like being told what to do. Especially when the engineer who wrote the work instruction is new in the company, while the operator has been doing his job for the past 20 years.

Which leads to Problem #3: This operator with 20 years of experience probably knows the process better than anyone else in the company. .

Three solutions:

  1. Let your operators write their work instruction

  2. Make the managers/engineers review the work instructions and iterate with the operators

  3. Let the operator suggest improvements

Try these principles and you will not only improve the use of work instructions, you will also improve employee engagement and training:

Employee engagement improves because operators are now an important part of the process.

Training improves because the documentation is less theoretical. It will reflect exactly how the job is done.

Finally, it is easier to train a new employee based on the documentation created by the operator who came before him.

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