4 Ways to Fix Manufacturing’s Employee Engagement Problem

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The economic and generalized uncertainty posed by COVID-19 has uncovered many hiccups (if not glaring problems) in the way we work, and this is particularly true in the manufacturing industry. Although other industries have transitioned smoothly into the modern era of employee engagement strategies, manufacturing still lags. Manufacturing executives have spent $18 billion on this cause, but their investments have failed to overcome the industry’s unique obstacles.

According to a report by Gallup, manufacturing employees are the least engaged of all fields surveyed, with only 25% saying they feel engaged at work.

Common engagement tactics such as companywide emails, individual events, or the occasional award won’t produce strong results on their own. In order to see real change, businesses need to go deeper to truly address sticking points within their company culture.

Low employee engagement impacts many areas of a manufacturer’s business, but it’s exceptionally costly when it comes to employee retention. In fact, employers should estimate the cost of turnover at 150% (or more) of a worker’s annual salary. Other impacts include low productivity and morale, which can spur accidents and unsafe behavior.

Companies must find engagement solutions that ensure long-term growth, financial stability, and employee happiness, but COVID-19 has compressed the months that manufacturers could have taken to map out this kind of program into a matter of weeks. So where should they start?

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