Shop Manager Shows This Video to Help Employees Focus

The shop’s team members “need to understand their responsibility to our stakeholders to be productive in an extremely competitive global market,” he says. Distractions such as headphones work against this, because our brains cannot really multitask.

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In my recent column, “The Attentiveness Gap,” I mentioned the observation of a group of travelers I was with that manufacturing workers in Japan do not listen to music while working, even when they are doing repetitive tasks. Mike Petrusch, VP of manufacturing for Cox Manufacturing Co. in San Antonio, Texas, wrote to respond to this. He said:

“Your comment that the Japanese do not listen to music while working reminded me of a video that we show in our shop to new employees. Despite what people think about their ability to multitask, the human mind can really only focus on one task at a time. You can either listen to music or work with your hands. Take a few minutes to watch this YouTube video [embedded above].”

He went on to say: “I have been showing this video for a couple of years. The reason: our millennials. I have watched our youngest employees bouncing to the music in their headphones while either punching offsets into the controls of our very expensive CNC production equipment or ensuring the quality of our customers’ parts. We want them to enjoy their time at work, but they also need to understand their responsibility to our stakeholders to be productive in an extremely competitive global market.

“I banned the headphones. They are a distraction as well as a safety concern. While I have not banned cell phone use in the building, I have stressed that its use should be appropriate to work. Focus!

“That focus is important. We stress to the staff that anyone with several million dollars can buy every piece of equipment we own. There is nothing unique about the Tornos Deco, Tsugami, Index, Euroturn or Miyano equipment that we own. The only competitive advantage that we have is each team member’s brain working in conjunction with the brains of their co-workers.”