As with any professional environment, maximizing your employees’ potential and production power is critical to long-term success.
Study after study have, in fact, linked satisfied employees with greater customer satisfaction and improved productivity in the workplace.
Without a doubt, employee satisfaction is a top concern in the manufacturing industry where success is measured by efficient operations, meticulous attention to detail, solid communication and stellar customer relations.
So what do employees really want? How can manufacturing companies ensure that their corporate culture fosters a positive spirit upheld by employees committed to the company’s vision?
Certainly, money is always a great incentive. But money isn’t everything.
Read on for some ideas to help fuel momentum in manufacturing employees.
- Mingle with your staff. This may seem obvious, but this simple act can help employers reap tremendous rewards. Make an effort to really get to know your employees. Eat lunch with them, organize informal gatherings, find out what’s going on their lives. Taking small steps to build strong relationships will not only help employees feel valued, but it will also help you glean valuable insights regarding employee concerns about the workplace.
- Make employee recognition a priority. According to Gallup’s 2017 "State of the American Workplace" report, 51 percent of employees are not engaged, and have not been for some time. This translates into indifference – these folks neither like nor dislike their job. According to the report, these employees represent a risk than can tilt toward good or bad. These employees want to be inspired but may require a little push to perform at their best. This is an area where recognition, feedback and opportunities for learning can play an important role.
- Incorporate employees’ families. Special days at work help to break up the monotony that is bound to occasionally occur in any work environment. Consider implementing a “bring your family to work” day. This not only encourages family connectivity, but it also gives spouses, children, parents, siblings, and significant others an opportunity to experience and appreciate their loved one’s day up close and personal. Watch the pride meter rise substantially for all parties involved.
- Spice up the day. Your employees work hard, and they deserve a break. A dose of diversion can elevate moods and productivity simultaneously. Got space for a ping pong table or karaoke machine? How about devising a scavenger hunt or monthly Game Day? Better yet, imagine how much joy a food truck would bring to the day. Envisioning something a bit simpler? Try hot dog or pizza lunches. How about free snacks? Surely everyone can agree how delightful complimentary treats such as fruit, yogurt, chips, various drinks, cookies, or a popcorn machine would be. Use your imagination! Options for ways to inject some fun into the workday are truly endless.
- Schedule mandatory breaks. Working in a production environment can be taxing mentally and physically. Ensure that your employees are given time to refresh and recharge periodically throughout the day, thereby lowering the risk for accidents or mistakes due to fatigue. Minimize job strain and ward off burnout while increasing employee productivity and concentration levels by implementing a policy and corporate culture that supports strategic pauses in the workday. Let your employees choose how to spend their respite from responsibility – whether it’s a catnap, light physical activity, or simply some quiet time. Paths to relaxation can differ greatly from person to person. Allowing your employees to disconnect will likely spur them to connect more productively with their daily tasks and projects.
Is it truly possible to have good morale in your workplace?
In the big picture, is employee satisfaction really that important?
Yes. And measurably so.
In fact, a past study conducted in Britain by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy found that happiness made people around 12 percent more productive.
If that’s not incentive enough to boost your workplace vibe, consider the fact that high turnover rates and employee replacement come with a hefty price tag on many levels – especially when costs associated with recruitment, training and loss of productivity are factored in.
The bottom line is that when you support your people, you support your business.
Take the time to empower, enlighten, and even entertain your employees.
Everyone will benefit in the long run.