One of the most important things for businesses in any industry is to make sure their workers are engaged and satisfied with their jobs and your company. That may be especially true in manufacturing, because the skills gap and high competition for talented employees means there's a premium on retention. The question, then, is how you can go above and beyond to regularly wow your workers and make them feel as though they're truly part of something worthwhile.
The following tips should help you do just that:
1) Communicate frequently
You never want your workers to think there's something of a separation between themselves and management, because if they feel disconnected from their bosses, they're more likely to feel disconnected from the company as a whole, according to a Gallup survey of manufacturing employees. Managers should therefore know every employee's name, check in with them once a day, and strive to let them know what's going on with the business.
2) Build a team culture
Likewise, it's important for workers to feel as though the people working with them every single day have their backs, so you should aim to build a feeling of camaraderie among your entire workforce, Gallup found. Even if that means taking time away from normal job duties for team-building, that kind of workplace culture can be invaluable to your operations.
3) Be flexible and open to change
No one knows your company better than your employees, and that means they also know what it takes to do their jobs as effectively as possible on an ongoing basis, according to Manufacturing.net. As such, you should be more than simply willing to listen to their suggestions for how to improve your processes; you should actively seek them out. Another area where flexibility matters is when it comes to scheduling and granting time off; your employees work hard for you, so be willing to meet them halfway on this front.
4) Train for their futures
Workers are more likely to feel as though you have their best interests in mind when you are proactive about setting them up for long-term success in the industry, according to Rhythm Systems. Training and skills development should be a critical part of your company's culture so that your employees are always ready to put their best foot forward and never feel as though they're being asked to do something without support from management.
5) Show your appreciation
Finally, you may expect your workers to do a great job, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't recognize or even reward them for meeting goals, Rhythm Systems said. Even if it's something as simple as an "employee of the month" program or buying lunch for your most successful teams every once in a while, that kind of treatment will help solidify in your employees' minds that you truly appreciate everything you do for them, and respond to their hard work in kind.