At CALMC, we have the pleasure of working with some excellent labor-management committees. Each of these successful committees is distinguished by the commitment of their members, both employees and managers, to working together to improve their workplace. Each has benefited from employee involvement.
I want to update you on the progress of two of the committees we reported on in earlier blog entries.
The safety committee at Skinner Diesel continues to do an excellent job of encouraging their colleagues to work safely. So far this year, there has been one injury. At our last committee meeting, the cause was discussed along with difficulties associated with preventing a recurrence. Since this injury was not a lost-time accident, the employees continue their unblemished record of no lost-time injuries since 2005.
Who benefits from the work of the safety committee? The employees do, obviously, because they work in a safer environment. Their families are more likely to have their loved ones return home without injury.
The company has benefitted from decreased costs of injuries and reduced worker compensation premiums. Profits have increased, which also pays off for employees in their profit sharing bonuses. Improvements in the bottom line have helped the company add new employees. Skinner Diesel has also achieved national recognition for its improved safety practices.
We also told about a labor-management committee that was formed with a basic purpose: find a way to make employee jobs more relevant in order to avoid layoffs. The jobs were put in jeopardy by changing technology, and could soon disappear if nothing was done.
Employees and managers worked proactively to identify the tasks employees were performing and new work they could do. Committee members involved their colleagues in identifying the tasks they performed and ways to make them more efficient.
We are happy to report the team was successful in redesigning their jobs and averting layoffs. Best practices were identified, and job classifications updated. As a result, the tasks performed by employee jobs are now more relevant. The committee is now developing training materials for new and existing employees.
We recently spoke with the union staff representative about the continuing progress of the committee. She reported another outcome we often see from employee involvement process, employees have gained additional respect from management for the quality of the work they did on the committee.
There are other committees we will tell you about in upcoming blogs, many deserve recognition like these two. They have helped employees, preserved jobs, and have strengthened their workplaces. The two teams work in very different environments, yet each has demonstrated the benefits of involving employees to solve workplace problems.