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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
4 tips to improve company culture in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has a labor problem. Without skilled labor, supply chains will struggle to keep up with the accelerating pace of demand.

In fact, The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte predict that manufacturers will need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030, the cost of which could exceed $1.2 trillion in that year alone. The cause of this shortage can't be pinned down to any one individual thing. But to reclaim those jobs and retain their current workforce, manufacturers will need to reshape their image.

Company culture is a vital part of the modern organization. Without one, employees may lose passion, disengage and leave the workforce. Here are four tips manufacturers can use to improve their company culture.

1. Start from the top
Reinventing organizational culture requires a holistic approach. From the entry-level employees to the executives, if everybody isn't on the same page then there's bound to be some friction.

Yet, according to Grant Thornton, only 59% of manufacturing execs rate their culture as healthy. For an industry so large, this is a very sizable gap. Decision-makers need to sit down and formally identify their internal challenges if they want to make improvements.

This means coming to terms with the areas they lack confidence, but also championing those where they exceed.

2. Let your employees be heard
An important step toward a positive culture is to give your employees a voice. Everybody wants to feel heard by their bosses. Otherwise, workers feel misunderstood, discouraged and uncomfortable on the job. Productivity, as a result, will take a toll.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with your employees. Let them vent their frustrations, air their concerns or just get to know them personally. If they feel like they belong at your company, they'll be motivated to succeed. Better yet, they won't quit their jobs and leave you scrambling to find a replacement.

3. Leverage technology for recruitment
Young workers value technology. It's an important factor they consider when deciding on a job. Manufacturers can prove to potential hires that they sit on the cutting edge of technology.

For example, demonstrate the role of autonomous robots, artificial intelligence or virtual reality in the workplace. Emphasize the unique opportunity to work with these technologies and pioneer the future of manufacturing. Not only will this benefit your recruitment effort — you'll reshape your company's culture from the earliest point of employment.

4. Express appreciation on a regular basis
It's vital that managers remind employees that they're all part of a team. Without their work, that team couldn't possibly succeed. Take opportunities to express your appreciation for their important contributions to the company.

Positive feedback, public recognition and gifts of gratitude go a long way toward building company culture. More importantly, they keep workers motivated and happy. When you instill a sense of purpose in your workforce, you instill an equal sense of camaraderie.

Improving company culture is no easy task. With a few organizational changes, everyone can move in the right direction together.