Human Resources

Strategies for Increasing Employee Engagement in the Manufacturing Industry

/ February 16, 2024 February 16, 2024


For companies in the manufacturing industries, employee disengagement is a common challenge they have to navigate. Low employee engagement rates can harm a business’s goal of achieving success and having high productivity levels.

Overcoming these barriers to low employee engagement is vital and Exude Human Capital can be the answer. We provide consulting services in human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), allowing for enhanced employee experiences that lead to business success.

Why Is Employee Engagement in the Manufacturing Industry Important?

Employee engagement is essential, especially in the manufacturing industry, as there are several issues related to talent management. Employee engagement refers to employees’ emotional and mental connection to their job and the organization. There are generally four categories of employee engagement:

  • Highly engaged
  • Moderately engaged
  • Barely engaged
  • Disengaged

Engaged employees are invested in their work and the organization, making them less likely to leave. Creating a healthy and positive work environment is essential as employees will happily work towards the business’s success.

Employees’ satisfaction with their jobs affects how well they perform their tasks. Highly engaged employees are usually the top performers as they are willing to go the extra mile to conduct their tasks.

Challenges of Implementing Employee Engagement in Manufacturing

Worker engagement in manufacturing is low due to various factors, including:

  • Lack of information: Failing to communicate information, such as news and updates, to employees, can make employees feel like they are not part of the organization. It is vital to keep employees updated about information relating to the company information and create a culture centered around communication.
  • Lack of alignment: Work culture is essential as it helps employees feel they are part of a team. Employees can only feel a sense of belonging if they understand the company’s culture. When employees need help understanding why their work matters, especially towards achieving a business goal, they might lose motivation to contribute their efforts. To address this challenge, make an effort to create a community where everyone is heard and can share their ideas about improving the organization.
  • Lack of recognition: Employees want to feel appreciated for their work and when they feel underappreciated, they will look for a company that does. Get ahead of the issue by taking measures to ensure that employees always feel valued. Give employees tangible benefits, such as “employee of the month” emails or acknowledging a job well done.

Best Practices for Implementing Employee Engagement Strategies

From labor shortages to high turnover and skill gaps, manufacturing companies face various challenges regarding employee engagement. Addressing these challenges requires implementing best practices. The following are a few employee engagement strategies you can adopt to address challenges:

1. Establish a Safe Work Environment

A typical career in manufacturing is providing vertical and horizontal opportunities

There is no better way to help employees feel they belong than by prioritizing their safety. Manufacturing jobs require the appropriate tools, protective equipment and protocols, as the tasks are often physically demanding or involve heavy machinery. Workplace accidents can result in injury, so it is essential to protect these accidents from occurring in the first place.

Employees also operate heavy machinery and vehicles for which they should receive the necessary training. Failing to prioritize safety can lead to job-related injuries and product loss, costing the business a lot of money. Employees are less likely to be engaged if they feel their employer does not follow the necessary precautions to protect their safety.

2. Offer Career Development Opportunities

Employees appreciate organizations that provide them with opportunities for growth. A typical career trend in manufacturing is providing vertical and horizontal opportunities. The manufacturing industry has processes, systems and operations that employees can help improve — the key to building a loyal workforce is providing them with career development and learning opportunities. When organizations promote from within and welcome laborers into management positions, the entire workforce will enjoy stronger unity and communication.

3. Make Employees Feel Appreciated

Every employee wants to feel appreciated in the workplace and you should prioritize doing that. Consider that employees have different ways they want to be appreciated and recognized. Some of the common ways to show appreciation to employees include the following:

  • Written recognition like handwritten notes of appreciation
  • Monetary rewards in the form of salary raises, gift cards and bonuses
  • Friendly contest awards, like employee of the month

Employee rewards are the best way to increase engagement, retention and productivity. The best part of making employees feel appreciated is it will create a positive company culture and your business will gain a positive reputation, which is effective for maintaining customer loyalty and attracting talent.

4. Create Two-Way Communication Channels

It is common for factory workers to communicate infrequently with management. Management should encourage open communication by creating suggestion boxes where employees can share ideas about their areas of concern and thoughts. Regular meetings with workers on the factory floor can effectively establish an environment that prioritizes open communication.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Employee Engagement Activities

Taking the time to measure the effectiveness of employee engagement activities is just as important as creating the activities in the first place. The first step would be conducting employee surveys or regular one-on-one meetings. Both these options allow you to receive direct feedback from employees about how they feel about the workplace. You can also identify the areas in which they want to improve so they feel more engaged.

Managers can also hold daily huddles where they share project updates and communicate to employees some areas in which they excel and need to improve. If necessary, employees can ask questions if they need clarity. Exit interviews can also be a valuable tool to collect honest feedback that improves the company.

How Does Employee Engagement Impact Manufacturing Floor Productivity?

Employee engagement in the manufacturing industry directly contributes to productivity as employees who are satisfied in their jobs tend to be more motivated and passionate about their work. When employees are engaged in their roles, they are more likely to put in more effort to improve their performance.

In the manufacturing industry, there are a lot of repetitive tasks but engaged workers are likely to find innovative approaches that enable them to achieve their work goals with ease. In the manufacturing industry, individual efforts will affect the entire organization’s results. Therefore, ensuring every employee feels part of a team will make them feel like their actions matter for the team’s success.

Connect With Exude Human Capital

Employees in the manufacturing industry play a vital role in generating success for the business. Various challenges arise that lead to low employee engagement and addressing these challenges is the only way enterprises will achieve higher productivity and retention.

Exude provides consulting services that enable you to transform your workforce and generate what you seek. Contact us today and let us help you create effective strategies that will lead to high employee engagement.

Connect with Exude Human Capital