6 reasons to show manufacturing workers that their work is valued

January 3, 2022

At the end of a long day, many employees like knowing their work was appreciated. Yet, more than one-third of American employees report feeling undervalued in the workplace, according to Gloat.

Consequently, 64% of workers are also planning on leaving their jobs. Gloat's data indicates that feeling underappreciated is one of the driving forces behind this charge.

For manufacturers, this is an especially dangerous trend. Already reeling from labor shortages and the Great Resignation, the manufacturing industry can't afford much more turnover. To mitigate this challenge, here are six reasons management should be ensuring employees their work is appreciated.

1. Recognition is important – especially for younger workers
According to SHRM, young employees are particularly keen on recognition. In fact, 79% of Gen Z and Millennial workers say that improving their company's recognition program would increase their loyalty to the organization. Moreover, employee recognition also does wonders for overall productivity. Workers who are regularly appreciated for their efforts are also much more motivated to perform their best.

2. It helps ease the impact of burnout
One of the leading causes of employee turnover – in manufacturing, especially – is burnout. If employees are overwhelmed by stress, their workplace engagement (and performance) take a nosedive. Worse yet, they may even quit their job. Expressing appreciation not only mitigates this risk, it also reassures employees their hard work actually means something.

3. Employee retention is at stake
Likewise, undervalued employees are much likelier to leave their jobs. If your company isn't regularly appreciating your workforce, you risk driving your talented assets to a competitor that will. Given the increasingly difficult labor shortage, it's paramount that manufacturers proactively recognize achievements and express gratitude.

4. It reduces the long-term cost of replacing talent
Of course, turnover comes at a price to the employer. According to Apollo Technical, entry-level employees cost roughly 50% of their salary to replace. For an industry that regularly navigates disruption, replacing talent is a major detriment to the company's bottom line. Consequently, ensuring that all workers are feeling valued should be a critical priority for manufacturers.

5. Improved two-way communication
When a company takes steps to appreciate the workforce, they're also taking a step toward two-way communication. In manufacturing, the communication gap between employees and management is already a sizable one. Reaching out to the worker and expressing gratitude sets the precedent that management is ready to sit down, listen to concerns and make improvements.

6. It promotes a positive company culture
Perhaps most importantly, recognition is an important part of any healthy company culture. The earlier that you start appreciating employees, the longer positivity has to grow. Better yet, you'll gain a reputation for fostering a positive work environment – a major asset when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented employees.