6 New Year's resolutions that could improve company culture in manufacturing

January 3, 2022

Given that January is fast approaching, it's time for most businesses to look ahead to how they can improve their operations in the new year. Indeed, 2021 has been a turbulent year for most industries, with the labor shortage continuing to take a toll on productivity.

Yet, before any business can look ahead, first they must look back on the year that was. Manufacturers, especially, stand to benefit from a good hard look at what needs improving. To kick off 2022 on the right foot, here are six New Year's resolutions that may help manufacturers build a more positive company culture.

1. Bridge the communication gap
Many managers find difficulty communicating with their workforce. Consequently, employees often feel misunderstood by supervisors, or that their best interests aren't taken into consideration. Manufacturers can boost their workplace communication with a number of additions, including town halls or 1:1 meetings with each worker. Put simply, any chance you give an employee to voice their concerns is an opportunity to connect, engage and learn.

2. Refresh your recruitment strategy
Due to the labor shortage, manufacturers are especially worried about keeping up with the pace of demand. Much of this worry stems from the growing difficulty they have hiring skilled labor. To mitigate this trouble, manufacturers should reevaluate their recruitment strategy and tailor it more precisely toward the demographics they're seeking. Younger workers, for example, are easier to reach through digital channels, rather than traditional ones.

3. Improve your employee recognition program
A positive company culture is one that recognizes the hard work their employees put in on a regular basis. Moreover, they publicly acknowledge milestones or achievements. Not only does this boost employee morale, it also improves productivity. According to Teamstage, 69% of workers say they would work harder if they received more recognition.

4. Eliminate burnout
If there's ever a universal challenge for the modern manufacturer, burnout may be a worthy contender. Indeed, workplace stress – quotas, demand or other pressures – are increasingly difficult for employees to navigate. In fact, 95% of human resource professionals blame employee turnover on job burnout, according to research by TonerBuzz. In the new year, manufacturers should aim to address workplace stress head-on. This may mean reevaluating employee workloads, increasing breaks and allocating other provisions that may relieve mental and physical pressure.

5. Start reskilling
Of course, it's always good to keep your workforce engaged. One of the best ways a manufacturer can do that is by reskilling – aka retraining – employees in new areas. Not only will this keep employees interested in their work, it'll make them more productive. Teamstage says that highly engaged workers can lead to upwards of a 200% increase in performance.

6. Invest in automation
The best organizations are those that aren't afraid to live on the cutting edge. Not only do younger job seekers want to work with the latest technology, but automation is also a major boon to productivity. Technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence and cloud computing are streamlining many critical processes. Most importantly, manufacturers will find it much easier to navigate the new year when they're already living in the future.