Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Supervisors in this unit group supervise and coordinate the activities of workers in motor vehicle production departments. They are employed in plants which manufacture automobiles, vans and light trucks.
- Find that workers are not meeting performance and safety standards. They speak directly with the workers and monitor their activities to identify reasons for under performance and solutions to increase workers' safety practices. They may increase daily inspections, request additional training and support and use motivational strategies to improve performance. They may seek advice from their managers if deficiencies continue. (2)
- Experience equipment breakdowns and malfunctions which slow and stop production. They immediately notify their managers and maintenance departments to determine whether the equipment can be repaired quickly. They work with their managers to determine how to resume production. Down time is costly in manufacturing settings and they must work efficiently to repair equipment and continue production. (2)
- Are unable to achieve quality and production targets for their units because production processes are badly designed and equipment is inadequate. They review job allocations and ergonomic data to discover possible reasons. They work with process engineers to redesign workstations, assembly sequences and elements of jobs. (3)
- Decide to take disciplinary actions to correct sub-standard work and issue commendations for good ideas and exceptional performance. For example, they issue disciplinary reports to their managers and union stewards when workers and other departments fail to respond to previous requests for change. They issues employee recognition reports to human resources departments for employees who exceed production targets. (2)
- Choose training activities for workers and safety topics for daily production meetings. They consider current safety concerns, requirements for upcoming production and workers' requests when determining training activities for production workers. They may involve their union counterparts in training decisions. (2)
- Assign job tasks to workers. They consider skills and training requirements for different jobs, repetitive movements involved in assembly tasks and workers' medical restrictions, skill sets and personalities. For example, they may choose to move experienced workers to jobs that are more complex. They may assign workers with restricted movement to training other workers. (2)
- Choose methods for managing production, safety and quality control. For example, they may choose to initiate brief shutdowns to repair faulty equipment and broken items in workstations. They may choose to re-allocate job tasks to increase production and reduce workers' fatigue. They may seek guidance from managers and engineers. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate training needs of production workers they supervise. They consider changes to current production lines, new vehicle launches, skills of workers, safety and production trends and changes to regulatory requirements for training. (2)
- Judge the conformity of workstations to standards and specifications. Before work starts, they inspect equipment, supplies and work areas visually, review notes in logbooks and analyze production data from previous shifts. They identify repair, maintenance and supply requirements. (2)
- Judge the suitability of assembly process and workstation set-ups during daily monitoring and scheduled audits. They use established safety, ergonomic and efficiency criteria. For example, they inspect workstations using criteria such as proper clearance from machinery, proper placement and condition of work surfaces, equipment and tools to minimize movements and hazards. They complete job observations to assess work cycles. They use criteria such as body positions and the types, numbers and repetitions of movements per job task and distances between tasks. Their judgment is critical for reducing costs, job related injuries and cycle times for assembly tasks. (3)
- Evaluate the quality of work from their own work units and other zones and departments. They visually examine and take measurements from components and analyze production data. They compare measurements and observations to manufacturing specifications to determine if products meet quality standards. Their evaluations are critical in preventing unwarranted failed inspections and complaints from customers. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Supervisors in motor vehicle assembling organize their own tasks and shift priorities to ensure their work areas, zones and departments meet production targets. They schedule time to review daily production data, prepare and monitor production and repair schedules, monitor work teams, check product quality and attend required management meetings. They set job task priorities to maintain production and handle problems such as production deficiencies, mechanical failures and workers needing to leave production lines. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Supervisors in motor vehicle assembling prepare daily schedules and plan activities for workers. They revise schedules to accommodate workers' requests for days off and medical leave. They change work assignments and schedules to maintain and improve efficiency. For example, they redesign jobs and blocks of tasks allotments to balance tasks completed among workers. They reassign workers' jobs to accommodate production shutdowns in their own and other zones and departments. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember many types of codes such as job, safety, production and defect codes to improve efficiency when completing documents.
- Remember personality traits of workers when putting together work teams.
- May remember the names and some personal information of large work groups to establish rapport and good communications.
- Find information about production workers. They review workers' training matrices, training documents, past shift and overtime schedules and performance reports. In addition, they may interview workers and speak with other supervisors. (2)
- Find information about production processes. For example, they collect data from many documents such as daily production, corrective action and incident reports, histograms, process flowcharts and assembly and vehicle drawings and complete job observations. They use this information to monitor production processes and identify areas for improving efficiency, quality and safety. (4)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Supervisors in motor vehicle assembling lead teams of production workers. They integrate their own tasks with those carried out by their teams, providing guidance and overseeing activities to ensure quality control standards and production targets are met. They also integrate their own schedules and tasks with supervisors of other zones and departments. For example, they participate in production meetings with their managers, supervisors from other work units and engineers to coordinate production line shutdowns, develop and modify assembly processes, complete test runs and reallocate production resources. (3)
Supervisors in motor vehicle assembling must learn continuously to keep abreast of new technologies, products and manufacturing technologies and to implement regulatory changes and union agreements. They learn through on-the-job experience, discussions with other supervisors and managers and workers they supervise and from reading manuals and magazines. In addition, they complete computer-based training programs and participate in seminars and courses offered through their employers. They may also take college and university courses. (3)