Managing These Challenges
The company offered training in skills to people in the new department. Many took up the offer and were trained in skills such as fitting, welding, scaffolding, cable jointing, or installation of process control instruments. Some took up refresher training in their own skills while others learned additional skills. A few did not take up the offer.
People in the new department were physically relocated. They were not allowed to take part in any routine maintenance activity. The company enforced this policy strictly and treated deviations as violations of discipline. In the initial period, there were a few instances when this occurred, but it soon became clear that the company was serious about the policy.
The new group was called the Development Department, giving it respectability. The majority of the people in it were surplus staff, but they knew that they were to execute minor projects, and were thus gainfully employed. In an interesting move, a few excellent technicians and two well-respected supervisors were also assigned to the department. The new department was strengthened with these skilled people, and thus would be able to deliver results. Their presence also served as a morale booster. Once the department was up and running for a year, they returned to the maintenance department.