Original Date: 04/26/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Communication
United Defense, L.P. Armament Systems Division Aberdeen implemented an integrated communications process that addresses the range of employee, functional team, plant, and division needs. This system’s integrated capabilities have greatly contributed to communicating and controlling manufacturing issues.
Communication has been widely recognized as a key attribute of the operating culture within United Defense, L.P. Armament Systems Divisions (UDLP ASDs), and even more so within the culture of the Aberdeen facility’s workforce. Aberdeen’s credo specifically cites its reliance on open, honest communication while emphasizing the need to listen, and implemented a tailored communication process in keeping with its background and current and projected requirements.
With a firm foundation of communication between and among individuals at UDLP ASD Aberdeen, it was an easy adaptation to also encompass facility and ASD requirements. The robust Aberdeen culture expects and requires open, one-on-one communication and feedback to achieve continuous improvement opportunities. As such, a solid basis existed to ensure that two-way communication was also provided for the employee with the facility and the Division. Standard and unique requirements are identified, with essential elements shared with candor and clarity. Such information is provided with the recognition that not only do employees exercise considerable autonomy and self-directed work efforts, but they must be properly informed to make good judgments and decisions.
To ensure a positive flow of information to the employee, a combination of printed and electronic means are employed. The Division-wide newsletter ensures wide distribution of general interest information throughout the larger organization. Intranet sites (both facility and Divisional) complement these newsletters with current events, data, results, planning, and topics of continuing value. In addition to the ad-hoc dialogues that transpire daily, plant-wide meetings are held bi-monthly that encompass the full range of current issues, group communications, training, and employee recognition. Functional teams and their team leaders also hold weekly meetings that focus on the primary issues of safety, quality, schedule, and cost. Consequently, a consistent flow of appropriate information is provided to the employees.
UDLP ASD Aberdeen understands and supports the costs associated with these communication actions to properly enable the autonomous functional teams to make informed decisions. As a result of its culture and enabled workforce, UDLP ASD Aberdeen has realized improved morale and increased worker identification with the facility and company goals. Equally important, continuing improvements in facility safety, quality, schedule, and cost performance have resulted.
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