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Catalyzing Change Case Study Pay for Skill/Performance in a Chemical Processing Plant
The leadership team of a start-up chemical processing plant set its sights high, envisioning a diverse and high performance workforce, exceptional operational results, and superior financial performance for their investors. Further, the plant needed to swiftly become ISO certified and meet the demanding quality and delivery needs of its target customers.
We partnered with the firm in all aspects of the commissioning process to develop the "people system." A key component of the people system, designed to align expectations, promote appropriate behavior, and achieve productivity and quality targets, was a pay-for-skill/performance compensation system. We designed plant-specific competency models, job profiles, training plans, and a peer/supervisor review process. We worked over a multi-year period with leaders at all levels to initially train them and the workforce on the system and tools, and then longer-term on conducting formal work culture evaluations and continuous improvement initiatives.
The firm met its start-up goals, obtained ISO certification, and received quality awards from its new customers. The operators and maintenance personnel deemed the training and compensation system clear, consistent, and fair. The compensation system was seen as fostering the development of shop floor teams; promoting performance-based dialogue between workers, supervisors, and managers; and focusing the entire workforce on bottom line business metrics - and ultimately the same overall goal.