An employee-centric model for manufacturing companies

September 19, 2022

A manufacturing company has many responsibilities, including ensuring that products are produced efficiently and on time. But it is also responsible for the well-being of its employees — from their health and safety to their ability to balance work with other aspects of life.

In order to attract and retain top talent, manufacturers need to think beyond traditional benefits packages. An employee-centric model can help manufacturers build a workplace that attracts and retains workers while still producing high-quality products at a competitive price point.

Why does it matter?

Employee engagement is the cornerstone of U.S. manufacturing, and it plays an essential role in boosting productivity and profitability. In fact, research conducted by Gallup revealed that low levels of employee engagement cost the global economy approximately $7.8 trillion per year.

However, The Manufacturing Institute and The American Psychological Association published that less than half of workers in the industry reported feeling high levels of engagement in their job.

This is a clear indicator that there is work to be done, and that it can be highly beneficial for both employers and employees alike.

How can the needs of both workers and management be balanced?

Manufacturers face a unique challenge in balancing the needs of their employees, who often work long hours and under stressful conditions. And while it's important to provide them with opportunities for personal growth and development, this can be difficult when time is limited and resources are scarce.

However, there are several ways manufacturers can help their workers feel more engaged at work while also ensuring they're operating at optimal efficiency levels. Here are some examples:

Encourage open conversation: Managers should make themselves available to employees to listen, troubleshoot problems and brainstorm solutions. This can be done through one-on-one meetings or group discussions.

Encourage employees to take ownership of their work: This can be done by allowing them to come up with ideas and solutions that will improve efficiency, productivity or quality control.

Incorporate variety: It's no secret that manufacturing jobs can get monotonous over time — which is why it's important to incorporate variety into the workday. This can be achieved by offering employees a chance to switch tasks, take on new responsibilities or engage in different projects as they come up.

Motivate workers with recognition and rewards: Employers can motivate employees by recognizing their hard work with praise, rewards or promotions. This can help workers feel more valued and appreciated, which will likely lead to a significant boost in productivity.

Don't overlook safety: Safety is not just a good idea — it's the law. Manufacturers are responsible for providing their workers with a safe environment that doesn't pose any unnecessary risks or hazards. This includes maintaining adequate safety equipment and training workers on how to use it properly.

Foster a culture of respect and diversity: Have a plan to address and prevent workplace discrimination. This can help ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation.