Managing your workforce is no easy task. In manufacturing, it's especially important to regularly interact with, engage and support your employees.
Yet, only 54% of manufacturing workers are experiencing a great workplace, according to research by Great Place To Work. Nearly half of all respondents cite a poor relationship with leadership as one of the primary reasons for this disparity.
Mistakes and inefficiencies can be avoided with a simple conversation. Better yet, it keeps employees productive, happy and safe. Asking your employees one of the following seven questions won't just benefit the bottom line — it could prevent burnout, too.
1. "How would you describe your regular workload?"
One of the leading symptoms of manufacturing burnout is exhaustion. By getting a read on an employee's workload, you may learn that you're putting too much stress on one individual. A more balanced distribution of work may take the added stress off their shoulders.
2. "What learning opportunities would you enjoy?"
One of the best ways to retain workers in manufacturing is to keep them engaged. Learning opportunities, like cross-training, are a great way to stimulate a worker and maintain their active engagement. Plus, they'll be able to perform more jobs across the workplace.
3. "What can management do to communicate better?"
A new study from The Workforce Institute recommends embracing feedback from your workforce. Per their data, 86% of employees feel like people in their organization aren't heard by management. Find new ways to communicate with staff so you can effectively field concerns.
4. "How satisfied are you with your hours?"
This question is a good way to broach the topic of burnout. If your employee is feeling overworked maybe they need more frequent breaks or a few days off the schedule. When they do return to the job they'll feel refreshed and ready to jump back into their routine. This is also a good way to identify which employees are willing to step up in the absence of others.
5. "What areas of operation lack efficiency?"
Asking this question can help you identify which tasks could benefit the most from being automated. Better yet, you may find that those tasks are the most physically demanding on your workforce. Automating these jobs can spare your employees a lot of physical stress.
6. "What areas of your job do you feel least prepared to manage?"
Nobody is perfect — not even management. Sometimes during training, certain areas of the job fall through the cracks. This question helps managers identify which employees may need some additional training or mentorship in those particular areas. Plus, it's a good opportunity to keep them engaged.
7. "What are your goals and how can we help you achieve them?"
Reminding your workers that you care about their professional development is a good way to express appreciation. Of course, helping an employee reach their potential makes perfect business sense, too. Sit down with your workers and discuss appropriate benchmarks and what you can do to help them get there.