Engaging EmployeesBy Caroline Basyn | Posted 2010-10-15 Email Print
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Streamlining P&G’s worldwide print operation increased productivity and helped identify hidden opportunities for cost savings.
Change of any kind is hard to swallow in an organization, but our employees’ acceptance and adoption of these new processes was crucial to its success. Optimizing the print environment with productive devices isn’t enough. Our workers need to understand and feel good about best practices. We worked with Xerox to take a strategic approach toward change management, focusing on how best to support the staff during the transition and keep disruptions to a minimum.
Before the MPS implementation, we used Lean Six Sigma-based assessments to evaluate our employees’ daily work processes in order to examine habits and identify inefficiencies. The workflow improvements were then made with the employees in mind: We considered the best ways to maximize benefits while continuing to meet staff needs.
We provided on-site training to help our employees manage the new print environment, including tips on how to reduce the time spent on print-related activities. We created a Web portal to provide ongoing support that our workers use for online learning and easy procurement of equipment and consumables. We made every effort to ensure employees felt comfortable and understood the full functionality the new environment offered.
Understanding the need to help our employees adapt to the cultural change—and sometimes to the loss of their beloved desktop printers—we launched a commercialization campaign to help them better understand the reason for our changes. The campaign was targeted at business leaders and users at each site as that facility underwent the transformation. It provided information about how the new print environment would make P&G more sustainable and cost-efficient.
A little competition didn’t hurt either: We posted the progress each business unit was making internally and used charity giveaways to encourage users to embrace the change. Allowing each division to compare itself to the others encouraged further improvements.
Still, some people were concerned that the equipment reduction and new processes would negatively affect their productivity. There was a perception that desktop printers were necessary when, in reality, having to maintain personal devices was difficult and often resulted in extended downtime.
Now that the implementation is running at full force, employees are finding the equipment much more reliable, and supplies and maintenance issues are no longer a concern. They also are enjoying the freedom to print any time, any where, and understand that MPS is giving them minutes back in their day to focus on business rather than printing.
We’re on target to meet our objectives. Stream-lining our global printing structure has transformed the way we work. We have new benchmarks for reliability and efficiency. The MPS initiative makes our workplace more sustainable and is a step on our journey to “go digital.”
MPS offers more than equipment, maintenance and supplies; it is also about process improvement. Organizations considering an MPS implementation should select a strategic partner that can provide recommendations for ongoing improvement. I recommend choosing a partner that will:
• work closely with the internal team to develop reasonable short-term objectives, as well as a long-term ideal environment;
• understand the importance of making cost savings a priority, without sacrificing productivity;
• assess document flow throughout the organization and recommend processes that will maximize efficiency and work for employees;
• consider the importance of incorporating sustainability objectives into the strategy;
• provide a strong change-management and training program for employees; and
• implement an ongoing system to monitor the environment and make necessary improvements for continuous optimization. l
Caroline Basyn, director of P&G’s Global Business Services, is responsible for site services and built the strategy for transforming its print services. She has more than 24 years of experience at P&G.