by Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC

Just coming off watching some of the NFL draft, I can’t help but remember the countless hours I spent as a high school football coach watching video tapes of practices and games. Assessing, assessing, and assessing. What’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be improved for greater success. Not only at the team level but at the individual level. I remember asking a player as we watched his performance on tape to self-assess and to answer questions like…What do you see? What is your role? What do you think would have produced better results? Surely, I could have told the player my observations and thoughts rather than ask. But I wanted my players to be involved in their individual improvement and success and that of the team. I don’t remember what football coach used similar words to those credited to Ben Franklin, but I bought-in to the saying, “Tell them they’ll forget, show them they’ll remember, involve them and they’ll understand.”

Conducting assessments, more than just periodically, is critical to improving and growing. It doesn’t matter if the focus is to better yourself, a process, a team, or company, assessments are essential to achieving greater success. Assessments come in different sizes, forms, shapes, and delivery styles from informal self-reflection and online company self-assessments to formal assessments like ISO 9000 gap analysis and NIST 800 171 CMMC cybersecurity compliance assessments to name a couple.

At NWIRC, conducting assessments are a significant part of our services and value proposition. We use various assessment tools and approaches depending on the situation and how best to help our clients. We recognize many manufacturers want flexibility and convenience when it comes to assessing and improving. For instance, we offer a company self-assessment tool focused on continuous improvement, an area that seems more critical than ever before, if that’s even possible. Often, an organization’s continuous improvement activities are focused on meeting or exceeding customer expectations for quality and on-time delivery and to improve a company’s competitiveness to maintain or secure new work. But how an organization approaches continuous improvement and what steps are taken can also play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining new employees – the number one challenge by far for manufacturers today. We know from studies, and actual experience, of the direct correlation between employee empowerment and the level they’re able to engage in improvements to job satisfaction and contentment with their employer. A happy employee is much more likely to tell others, “What a great place to work” and help recruitment efforts.

NWIRC’s Continuous Improvement Company Self-Assessment is 10 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete and self-score. The assessment looks at things from both an employee and management perspective and touches on culture, change, and capabilities. I encourage you to take a look and recommend for the best results that you have others complete the assessment individually and then meet as group to compare, discuss, and prioritize any areas that need to be addressed. And, keep a look out for some new self-assessment tools that NWIRC will be introducing in the weeks ahead.

Download NWIRC’s Continuous Improvement Company Self-Assessment below: