Secrets to Driving Employee Engagement

A new report about employee engagement said that manufacturers need to better cultivate organizational cultures that foster transparency, mutual trust, and ongoing professional development.

The report, produced by Kronos, found that organizations with “highly engaged” employees experience 22% greater productivity. This shouldn’t be a surprise as happy employees tend to be more committed, be more productive and have less absenteeism.

Neil Pickering, marketing and industry insights manager at Kronos, said manufacturers need to look beyond pay as they strive to retain skilled talent in the industry. Pickering said a more feasible strategy is to focus on engagement by making employees feel valued and by fostering professional growth. Numerous surveys indicate that today’s workers, especially younger generations, value time off and flexibility more than they value money. Pickering said it’s essential that manufactures answer that call for more work-life balance by paying closer attention to employee feedback and create policies that give them more ownership over their jobs.

“Where possible, taking into account employee preferred working hours and activity when creating work schedules can positively impact engagement,” Pickering said.

“highly engaged employees experience 22% greater productivity.”

Disengagement can not only lead to dwindling retention numbers but can also hamper productivity and business results. Kronos found roughly half of employees said they had a lack of motivation and did not feel valued on a daily basis. Many also said their working life was “too complicated” and that they face an unrealistic workload on a daily basis.

Nearly three-quarters also said that more up-to-date technology systems would make them feel more engaged in their business. Chief Executive reported that many employers are now using digitization to enhance employee engagement. Ensuring workers have the right tools and software to enhance their productivity can not only make their jobs easier but also more satisfying. While automation and robotics may require big capital investments, tablets and mobile devices enabled with cloud-based software solutions can boost productivity on the plant floor. Kronos found that manual processes in manufacturing companies contribute to a loss of 3 hours per week, 2.8 of which are due to administrative work.

The report also said manufacturers can reduce unnecessary stress and fatigue that can compromise safety by using better scheduling tools and incorporating appropriate rest periods and breaks. Manufacturers should also strive to treat employees fairly and apply regulatory, union and company-specific policies equally across the workforce. Finally, they should create a culture where employees understand how their performance impacts the business.

“When manufacturers truly engage employees, the long-term benefits translate to the bottom line…Taking steps to boost employee engagement not only helps in retaining valued employees, but it also increases and organization’s level of performance,” Pickering said.

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Craig Guillot
Craig Guillot is a business writer based in New Orleans, La. His work has appeared in Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, CNNMoney.com and CNBC.com. You can read more about his work at www.craigdguillot.com.

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