Manufacturing engineers can find the use of videos extremely helpful, if used correctly. Sharing videos of employees will help pinpoint where processes are going wrong, and what can be improved. If used incorrectly, though, they can cause issues with unreliable data, union-related hassles, and low morale.
Here’s how to get the benefits but not the drawbacks:
1. Choose a Goal
There are many ways that videos can improve production. These include:
- Decreasing wasted time at various points in the process, especially during setup.
- Analyzing the team as a whole. If your process is not performing as expected, you may want to look at the overall coordination of the team. A video can help you notice where there is wasted time or waiting. You can also break down the amount of time spent walking, lifting, and at workstations.
- Analyzing a single workstation. If you have identified the process step that is slowing everyone down, you can use video to examine the hand movements at the station to see where efficiencies can be made.
2. Communicate Effectively and Respectfully
Most people don’t want to be videotaped. They also may have anxiety that their personal performance will be judged. Unions can also get involved, as they are concerned that the video will be used to justify layoffs or uncompensated speed-up.
This is a particular problem because it interferes with collecting data. People who are nervous might try to alter the process to make themselves look better. This will not only affect productivity, but also skew any conclusions that might come out of the video.
Reassure workers by:
- Outlining your exact goals
- Explaining how the video will be used for process improvements, not personnel changes
- Sticking to the promise not to use the video in layoffs
- Getting the consent of everyone involved
The object is to convince employees that they are not the objects of the video, but participants in it. Be sure to run it by a direct supervisor first. The supervisor has more contact with the employees than you, and will likely be better at predicting how video recordings will go over.
3. Handling Privacy Concerns
After a video has been made, it becomes a sensitive document. Create a clear policy about how the video recording will be handled. It should never go beyond the shop. Be sure that everyone involved in the video understands exactly who will see it.
Index video files on a secure external hard drive. Be sure to properly wipe the hard drive when the videos are no longer necessary.