A Reflection Point program designed to improve communications, strengthen bonds and open minds to other points of view to support a more collaborative, productive culture among front-line employees.
Over the course of two three-month periods, a front-line manufacturing team has gathered for an hour each week to discuss literature. Facilitated by faculty members from a local college, the team has discussed short stories, novels and nonfiction selections.
-Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
-Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
-Jim Shepard, You Think That’s Bad
-Tobias Wolff, The Night in Question
-John Steinbeck, Of Mice & Men
-Denise Kiernan, The Girls of Atomic City
-William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Results and Participant Reflections
In interviews, participants reflected on the Reflection Point experience, appreciating the way the sessions:
Established bonds between participants and encouraged them to recognize other perspectives.
“It makes you come together, and it makes you talk to other people that you work with and see things from their perspective, getting different ideas out there.”
“We learn a lot about each other. We all have different things that go on in life, and we relate these things to what we read. It makes a bonding between the employees that are here.”
Boosted the potential for innovation
"We're trying to change our culture. We've been doing things a certain way for over a hundred years, and we're trying to get away from that. Reflection Point makes you come together, and it makes you talk to other people that you work with and see things from their perspective. It gets different ideas out there. That's what we need, lots of different ideas, not just the same idea.”
Increased participants’ respect for and understanding of others.
“Honestly, we disagreed at times. Then by the time our hour was up, we had gone, ‘Maybe you aren’t always so right or wrong. There’s a gray area sometimes. It’s not black or white.’ I didn’t always see that gray area. I tend to see that more now.”
Fostered critical thinking.
“The professor taught me to look past what was written on the page to see the story behind the story. As a team coordinator I’ve been able to solve some of the problems I didn’t know were there just by looking past what I was being told by my colleagues.”
The manufacturing team’s supervisor appreciated the way Reflection Point created a sense of community and an ease of communication between himself and the team.
“Overall, the people in that group were more comfortable expressing themselves in different forums, and way more comfortable with me as their boss.”
“It was interesting to sit with the team and talk about our own perspectives and have a facilitator to bring it into focus. It brought our work group closer together, opened up lines of communication, and broke down barriers.”
“I realized that there’s a little more depth to some of these guys than I knew before, and hopefully they thought the same thing about me.”