The word “culture” gets thrown around a lot—it comes up in HR meetings, on job listings, and some episodes of The Office. But what does it mean for manufacturing?

Cultivating good company culture is important, and it’s the key to making manufacturing a great industry to work in and your company a great one to do business with. Like with everything else in business and manufacturing, building a good culture takes time and commitment from company leadership, and continuous improvement. 

Find Your Schtick, and Run With It

It’s easy to do a quick Google search and copy/paste another company’s culture and values. But you don’t need to squish your company into their mold. Your company already has a culture and something that makes it unique, but maybe you don’t have language to describe it.

We’ve worked with several companies to dig deep into their business, ask good questions, learn what sets them apart from the competition, then create messaging that makes it easy to communicate that “brand” to internal and external audiences. Your brand story is the foundation for company culture. 

#EmployeeAppreciation and Engagement

Employees who feel like their work is valued and their voices are being heard by leaders of a company are more likely to stay at their job—and engaging your employees in different ways can increase their performance by 202%. So what are the best ways to do this? 

One way to engage your current employees and make their voices heard is to create a place for them to provide feedback and bring new ideas to the team. Whether that’s a form set up by your HR department, one-on-one meetings, company/department town halls or a spot in your employee portal, it’s important for employees to feel like you’re on the same team.

Company events are another great way to make employees feel valued. Every company is different, but your management teams can provide great insight on what would make your employees feel appreciated. You can do a company picnic at a park, buy lunch for employees, take them to a sporting event, or something else that makes them feel like it’s a fun place to work.

Shared Impact = Long Term Motivation (and Success)

Keeping your employees happy takes more than just saying “nice job,” or “thanks for all your hard work,” every once in a while. Saying these things are still important, but you also want to look at the bigger picture. Go back to the brand story—the big “why” behind the company—and find ways to infuse the team’s work with real purpose.

The truth is, your company is 100% reliant on your employees and it’s helpful to remind your team that what they’re doing is making a difference. For instance, is something you’re producing at your plant being used to benefit people during the global crisis we find ourselves in? Is your distribution team working daily to solve supply chain issues that are causing shortages and empty shelves across the country? 

Creating a sense of shared impact makes manufacturing jobs more than just a job. Sure, they can probably go to a competitor and make the same amount of money. But what is that work environment like and how will that competitor make them feel about the work they’re doing? If you want people to stay, you need to give them a reason why they should choose to stick with you in an employment market that is extremely competitive.

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