Empathy in Engineering: Part 1, The Most Valuable Resource

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This is the first of a six-part series addressing the importance of using an empathetic approach to engineering design, and the possibilities that such an approach adds to the manufacturing process.

Businesses are adopting additive manufacturing methodologies at an ever-increasing rate in order to remain competitive and at the forefront of their industry. Additive manufacturing (3D Printing), is, after all, a trendy new technology, offering a world of innovation and customization that we could previously only dream about.

However, relying on advances in additive manufacturing technologies alone to improve efficiencies and increase productivity in a company misses the mark. While new technology is a valuable resource for production; there is another, invaluable, resource: people.

In reality, a company’s most valuable production resource is not merely the technology and methodologies it uses, but the assembly operators and personnel it employs. If a company uses additive manufacturing and other cutting-edge technologies in empathetic and comprehensive applications which directly assist floor shop personnel, the result is employees who feel supported, engaged, and invested in. This creates an environment, a company culture, in which the company sees each employee as a valuable asset, resulting in each employee seeing themself as such, going on to perform their job well in order to further contribute to that company culture.

Utilizing Empathy in Engineering increases benefits far beyond what the bottom line would measure. Investing into an individual in a way that has not been done before by creating a work environment that is safe, supportive, and encouraging can significantly provide that individual with a sense of self-worth and value, and benefit the company as a whole.

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