Tuesday, June 28, 2016
How do you motivate employees when your company has no future? This is the task facing Takata, the manufacturer of millions of faulty air bags. Takata is now working for consumers who need replacement parts. It is not selling many air bags for new installs. There is a strong possibility that the company will go out of business or will shrink to a fraction of its former size. It has already lost contracts with major Japanese auto makers, and it is not likely to get them back. Every time another death is reported because of faulty propellent, another nail is driven into the company's coffin. So, how do you keep employees focused on the task of replacement when there are better job opportunities elsewhere with a future? There isn't much one can say other than "we owe it to our customers." Most employees, however, were not part of the decision to use one explosive over another. It was an engineering specification. Chances are most employees were not aware of the danger. That makes it harder to motivate a workforce that had nothing to do with the decision.