Solutions Driven

Improving Workplace Culture in Manufacturing

In the midst of a challenging shortage of talent, manufacturers should be trying to make their workplaces as appealing as possible to potential candidates. Improving internal culture is the first step. 

It’s no secret that employers of all shapes and sizes are struggling to attract the right kind of talent. Manufacturers in particular are experiencing apathy from candidates; there are other, more glamorous industries and employers catching their eye. In fact, Millennials have ranked manufacturing as their least preferred career destination.

How can manufacturing organisations up their game and ensure that the war for talent becomes a fair fight? Improving workplace culture is one of the most effective options for encouraging existing staff to stay loyal as well as attracting new blood. We outline the straightforward steps you can take to improve yours.

factoryExamine your environment with fresh eyes

Is your employees’ working life hindered or helped by the environment they’re in? Are there obstacles, better ways of laying out the floor plan, or a more efficient workflow? The physical space workers are in has been proven to significantly impact engagement and morale, and can have a big effect on employee satisfaction. Aside from obvious health and safety issues, a tidy, clean and well-managed space means employees are free to do their best work without getting bogged down in distractions resulting from a poorly thought out working area.

Manufacturing jobs offer some of the best benefits around. How do yours compare?
Onsite yoga & massages, health & safety fairs, blood donation drives, employee fitness centres, summer hours, extensive training & personal development.
Flexibility & Family-Friendly Approach:
Flexible work weeks, compressed hours, paid sabbaticals, additional holiday entitlements, childcare subsidies, onsite childcare.
Leisure & Social:
Retail discounts, cycle to work scheme, lunch clubs, complimentary fruit, snacks and beverages, health screenings, exercise clubs.

The 5S methodology is used by some of the world’s largest manufacturers (including Toyota) to ensure that employees are in the optimum environment for enhancing productivity and morale. The 5S method has also been shown to increase output quality, reduce slowdowns and errors, and achieve cost savings. What’s not to love?

Consider onboarding

Start as you mean to go on, so the saying goes. What happens when a new employee’s onboarding doesn’t live up to their expectations? Manufacturers often work in large facilities with hundreds of staff occupying the same building. It can be daunting to learn the layout of a factory, never mind hundreds of names too! If an employee feels like they’ve been abandoned after day one, their morale and motivation is likely to drop quickly.

If you’re not sure how to begin examining or improving your onboarding process, why not ask new members of staff how it could be improved? Were there any questions they had left unanswered? Did they feel welcomed and supported? Simple things such as where to eat at lunch or where the nearest bank is can feel invaluable to an employee who has just relocated: take every aspect of a new start’s working life into consideration.

Listen to employeesworking group

One of the best resources you have for improving internal culture is your existing employees. Manufacturing roles can sometimes become silos, with only a few points of liaison between various departments in the production chain; why not select representatives from each to form a working group for improvement? Each department is likely to have their own views on what could be done to collectively boost the working culture and environment – all you have to do is listen.

Feeling valued and heard plays a large part in employee satisfaction, and C-Suite and senior executives who are seen to be implementing changes based on feedback will naturally gather favour. Employees are then more inclined to discuss any issues internally rather than opting to post negative reviews on sites such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn, both of which are a major contributing factor to attracting new employees.

if you’re struggling to attract new talent or feel that you’d benefit from a consultation on how to improve your employee value proposition, why not ask the experts? Solutions Driven are specialists in the manufacturing industry, and can provide advice and support as well as seeking out passive talent for your most business-critical roles.

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