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If an employee does not meet the standard, it is a minor issue. Intervention should only occur after long observation. Most of the reasons that employees cannot make the standard are related to management decisions. However, the following reasons do require intervention:

  1. The employee is not sure about the job steps.
  2. The employee has received bad information.
  3. The employee is sure about the steps but works in an unusual or inefficient way.
  4. The employee does not spend enough time actually working (busy locating tools, parts, manuals).
  5. The employee does not spend enough time actually working (busy visiting with friends).
  6. The employee does not spend enough time actually working (sick –in the bathroom excessively).
  7. The employee is tired, sick, or infirm (temporary).
  8. The employee is not strong enough, tall enough, or smart enough to complete the work.
  9. The employee is avoiding doing a day’s work.

You can see that the first three items are clearly lack of skill, training, or knowledge, and could be training issues. Item 4 is most closely related to the management system. Even item 5 can be related to the management system (though not always). Items 6 and 7, if they are temporary, can be overlooked. If they persist, the employee might be temporarily reassigned to lighter duty. Item 8 (assuming that training will not change this situation) is a problem if you cannot reassign the person and don’t have alternative duty available for them. Item 9 is famous but actually happens less often than most people surmise. In most cases, attitude problems are secondary to some other problem.

The root cause in all these cases can usually be traced back to four causes. Observation can sometimes uncover or distinguish the root cause. The four root causes are:

  1. Lack of training, skills or knowledge.
  2. Bad management system supporting mechanic, bad shop layout, bad lighting, bad supervision, inadequate tools.
  3. Lack of aptitude as in not strong enough, or tall enough to reach certain things or even not smart enough for the job.
  4. Bad attitude.

Tip from Basics Of Fleet Maintenance by Joel Levitt

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