Throwback Thursday: Codes of Conduct

Culture is a topic that comes up a lot in conversations among mold builders, so I felt this throwback to an article on the communication/teamwork chasm was worth a second look.


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Steve Johnson, who works with me on his Maintenance Matters series, shares his thoughts on how old habits die hard when it comes to maintenance cultures. Back in 2006 he was hearing from toolmakers, repair technicians and the management personnel who really wanted to improve operations that a communication/teamwork chasm still exists, so he decided to provide a little insight on a few unwritten codes of conduct. In Steve's words below:

For Salary Folks Don’t:

  • Openly ridicule someone’s lack of skill or oversight. Public floggings, even if warranted will not result in the white shirt (flogger) increasing their respect factor—a much needed attribute to effectively managing and motivating in a maintenance environment. Take it to the office.
  • Assume that someone’s name is on their shirt because they can’t remember it.
  • Hover over work being performed with your arms crossed like it won’t get done right unless you are there to manage it correctly.
  • Whistle someone over to you, save that for your dog.
  • Nick-pick the clock. If you tap your watch and frown while work is being done to save a few minutes, it will end up costing you hours.
  • Throw your arms up in the air and emphatically proclaim to “just get it done” without understanding all the issues.
  • Assume that a repair tech reviewing the mold manual is just screwing off.
  • Stifle creativity by dismissing an idea, such as a jig, fixture or a new procedure as stupid or a waste of your time.
  • Tell repair personnel the cost of a mold or tooling, or other aspects of maintaining molds or improving shop efficiency is privileged information.
  • Run up front with someone’s good idea and proclaim that it is yours.

For Hourly Folks Don’t:

  • Be unprofessional in your appearance and conduct. Being the grimiest, loudest, most obnoxious or crudest won’t score any points with anybody.
  • Deliver bad news to the boss with a smile on your face. What is so funny about a manifold being flashed for the third time in a row?
  • Assume the pondering position for so long your handprints remain on your face for over an hour.
  • Stand around in groups chatting about American jobs going overseas.
  • Fling tools across the shop when you are upset and control the desire to smash something together that just doesn’t fit like it should.
  • Stand and watch someone struggle with a mold and not offer to lend a hand.
  • Hoard information that could help someone fix a mold just to be the man.
  • Be the shop prankster (greasing ma-chine handles, hiding tools, gluing things together, being destructive or disruptive).
  • Be dangerous to work around.
  • Be the one to always take a mold apart, but never around to put it back together.

Click here for the full article.