Traits Every Successful Chemical Plant Manager Must Have
Plant Managers have two major tasks: motivating their crews and maintaining production quotas. Fortunately, these are two things that are in their control. Managers can motivate, however, they cannot do their crew’s work alone. To keep the motivation and production levels high, managers need to have specific skills and traits.
The best managers know how to work with people, and understand how a successful business functions. But, their skills go so much deeper than knowing business and people. Let’s see what the essential skills are needed to be a successful Plant Manager.
Understand How To Balance Business and People
Plant Managers have several hats to wear on the job, along with managing employees and motivating them to reach production goals. They have to know how to make the hard decisions that affect the plant.
When they are tasked with making business decisions, Plant Managers take production costs and labor costs into consideration. They use data to create plans, and they take the time to analyze statistics to improve the bottom line.
But, before they implement any new business strategies, they have to recognize their employees’ needs and the best ways to support them.
Top Plant Managers make decisions that support and encourage their employees. When they do their job well, their employees do their best work to support their manager’s goals.
Recognize How Crews Want to Be Managed
The top Plant Managers know that all employees cannot be managed in the same way. So, the most effective managers are able to communicate with and motivate employees.
They can observe them from a distance, and check in on them without seeming like they are micromanaging.
When working with employees, managers should work with a top-down process. Managers should guide their employees so they understand the steps of their jobs so they can be efficient and safe.
They also need to offer useful tips to help employees correct their errors effectively. Employees want to know how to strengthen their skills so they can be productive and meet their goals.
Managers also need to recognize when an employee needs to be micromanaged. But, the best managers use micromanagement techniques sparingly, as independence is a proven motivational technique.
Effective managers know that communication is the key to their plant’s success. They ask their employees what support they need, encourage open communication, and then provide it.
Employees appreciate managers who take time to talk to them and provide personalized support so they can do their job properly.
Plan for Future Goals
Top managers plan for long-term goals. They understand how to build and stick to timelines, and how to motivate their employees to follow through on those goals.
Plant Managers do this by simplifying and shortening the steps to reach those long-term goals. They recognize what their employees need to be successful, and build strategies that get them to the finish line.
With long-term planning:
Managers acquire the necessary resources that help them effectively run the plant.
They understand that the plant cannot successfully operate without the necessary resources, so they plan ahead. This includes inventory, supplies, people, budgets, safety gear, and other necessities. Planning ahead prevents problems in the present.
One of the most important budgets that Plant Managers need to develop is their safety budget. Employees must have safe working conditions, and at a chemical plant, there are several areas where working conditions could become unsafe.
Chemical storage tanks need to be cleaned, and your human crews no longer need to do it. Instead, managers can add ecorobots (AKA ecobots) to their safety budgets and completely remove employees from this hazardous process.
Understand How to Measure Quality and Create Value
Effective managers know how to gather and measure data so they can see if processes are working toward goals. It is difficult to produce quality without being able to measure it.
Therefore, successful Plant Managers set goals, develop strategies to meet them, and analyze data along the way.
Most importantly, they recognize problems before they become too big, and they know when to step in to steer the project in the right direction. They will also work with employees to understand why problems are happening so they can solve problems together.
These quality-control checks help make sure the plant is producing the way it should be. When managers lead by example, the crew has a model that shows them what a job well done looks like.
Stay Up-to-date with Trends
Successful managers know how to stay current with the latest technology in their industry, as it can improve plant production and the bottom line. Technology often helps companies better meet government regulations, especially regarding safety.
One such regulation is the call to end confined spaces by 2025 with Dow and other large corporations already implementing this process.
One such way that managers can embrace technology and meet government standards early is to implement ecobots for chemical tank cleaning. These robots enter confined spaces so humans can stay safe.
Ecobots can be exposed to hazardous chemicals and gasses inside the tanks without any issues. Humans control the ecobots via remote controls, and human controllers never have to enter the tanks during the cleaning process.
Related article: How You Can Save Money on Tank Cleaning with Robots
These ecobots clean tanks in significantly less time than humans, as the robots do not need breaks. They also do not need lights, heating and cooling, and safety gear. All they do is safely and effectively clean storage tanks.
Plant Managers must be able to communicate with their employees, as their employees are valuable resources that need to understand expectations and goals. Manager communications should be two-way, as good communicators listen as well as share facts and feedback.
In a 2007 study:
Leadership researchers found that trustworthy leaders positively impacted the performances of teams and individual employees.
The researchers found that the best method for improving production is for leaders to work directly with employees and to talk to the entire crew, too. It takes teamwork to get the job done.
Effective Plant Managers need to have specific skills and traits. The ability to plan and communicate helps managers reach production goals with their employee teams. To meet their goals and maintain employee relations, plant managers also need to know how to allocate their resources and use technology that improves plant safety.
Do you have what it takes to become a respected and effective Plant Manager?