Chinese Whispers!

The trainers at HEUFT SYSTEMTECHNIK GMBH often experience amazing things concerning the passing on of knowledge among employees. This frequently puts one in mind of "Chinese whispers".

"Chinese whispers" is a game which is as simple as it is enjoyable when played among friends. Something is whispered in a neighbour´s ear and then passed on to the next person. The last person in the group speaks out aloud what was passed on to him. The first person then tells the group what he said and at this point at the latest everyone starts to laugh because the two often have nothing more in common with one another. It is often astonishing when comparing the words how much has been added or shortened even among a small group.

A parallel can often be drawn in a business concerning the passing on of knowledge e.g. how to operate a machine. An employee leaves the company and is replaced by a new one. A colleague tells the new employee how to operate the machine during a change of shifts. It is clear that only a rough outline of the most essential points can be presented because the line is running, it is loud and the experienced colleague wants to go home. But the new employee is smart and simply works out for himself the part that was not explained to him. The line is running, the level of efficiency is good and the boss is pleased that he has selected the correct employee.

The fact that the new employee is not aware of the action he has to take regarding regular machine maintenance generally only becomes evident when there is a breakdown. The supplier´s technical expert who has been called out often establishes that the breakdown could have been avoided. In such cases the HEUFT SYSTEMTECHNIK GMBH service technician hands out a training voucher to give the customer food for thought. When an employee takes part on a training course as a result it is established in conversation that his training was a type of "Chinese whispers" due to the fact that the knowledge had by now been passed on from a third to a fourth person and some half-truths and untruths had crept in on the way. The employee is then often completely surprised at the possibilities a control device has in addition to the rejection of faulty containers. Analysis functions, such as a valve locator which registers non-performing valves, are important tools for maintaining efficiency. When he returns to the business with the first-hand knowledge he has acquired, he has mastered operation and maintenance so well, that he can not only avoid interferences but often also contribute to an increase to the line output.