The Worker Feedback Dashboard application quantifies well-being and achievements at work
Lead by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the European Factory2Fit research consortium develops solutions with the help of which employees in the manufacturing industry receive positive feedback on their personal well-being at work and work performance. In collaboration with Finn-Power Oy, VTT is developing a Worker Feedback Dashboard application, which is currently being piloted by the employees of Stera Oy located in Forssa, Finland.
In the increasingly digitalised working environments employees easily lose sight of what they achieve at work. However, positive feedback on work performance, as well as recognizing personal achievements and development at work are important for work motivation.
The Worker Feedback Dashboard application provides factory workers personal feedback on how the shift is going and on their personal well-being. In the pilot, the application is integrated into the highly automated Prima Power sheet metal working lines manufactured by Finn-Power. The Worker Feedback Dashboard application compiles the feedback based on the operational data of the automation line and the measured data on personal well-being collected using the Fitbit activity tracker. Only the employee him- or herself has access to this data. The purpose of the application is to help people become aware of how smooth running of work affects their personal well-being and how their personal well-being affects their work performance. The application also encourages people to favour life styles that promote well-being.
The operators of an automated Prima Power line at Stera have been piloting the Worker Feedback Dashboard for over a month now. The operators participating in the pilot report that seeing the utilisation rate of the machine after their work shift has been a good motivator. It has been surprising to see that the number of steps taken during a single work shift may amount to 10,000 steps. After each shift, a graphic trend figure tells about how the shift went. It helps operators recall if something special happened during the shift. It has been possible, for example, to analyse how they coped in an error situation and to reflect if they could do something differently in the future. In the long term, the application may help people find the personal style and way of working that suits them the best.
Tero Marjamäki, Business Unit Manager at Stera points out: “Once we can increase people’s job satisfaction, the work efficiency will also improve. This application provides feedback to employees only, and that is the way it should be. In the future, we should have a third party involved, providing the employer with compiled and filtered feedback, which would help us identify problem areas and things that need changes.”
“Finn-Power wants to be a forerunner in the development of the employees’ well-being at work as part of Prima Power machinery and production lines. One of the competitive advantages on the future markets will be employee well-being,” says Esko Petäjä, Manager R&D at Finn-Power Oy.
“In the working life of the future, employees will increasingly take responsibility for their competence and for its development. The Worker Feedback Dashboard application developed in the Factory2Fit project supports this development by providing positive feedback and helping employees recognise their own strengths and areas in need of development. Monitoring of well-being at work and work performance supports individual on-the-job learning at a rate that suits the person in question,” points out Eija Kaasinen from VTT, the coordinator of the Factory2Fit project.
“When we interviewed employees at factories, it came up that they often felt feedback as a negative thing because the focus has been on such matters as the number of errors or the downtime of machinery. With the Worker Feedback Dashboard application we particularly wanted to emphasise positive feedback that can raise the spirits at work and have a positive impact on the employee’s job satisfaction and motivation,” notes research scientist Päivi Heikkilä from VTTwho is in charge of the piloting.
The Factory2Fit project, which is part of the Horizon 2020 programme funded by the EU, began in October 2016 and will continue until September 2019. The project develops solutions with the help of which the working environments in the manufacturing industry can be adapted in accordance with the individual skills, needs and preferences of the workers. Another area of development are the solutions that support sharing of information and individual on-the-job learning as well as employee participation in the planning of their own work and working environments. There are nine partners involved in the project: VTT, Finn-Power Oy (Prima Power) and Visual Components from Finland, Continental, Amorph Systems and Chemnitz University of Technology from Germany, United Technologies Research Centre and Carr Communications from Ireland and the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) from Greece.
Media material: Photos VTT, Päivi Heikkilä
Picture 1, production line and operator: The employee gets information about his personal well-being with the help of an activity tracker and about the fluency of work through the operational data of the automation line.
Picture 2, operator: The employee gets personal feedback on his mobile phone.
Picture 3, a close-up of the Worker Feedback Dashboard application: With the application the worker sees a compilation of his work shift data and also data on longer term trends.
Further information on the Factory2Fit project: www.factory2fit.eu