Now that manufacturing is rebounding from the economic difficulties of the past few years, manufacturing managers should take a hard look at your best employees. Presumably you eliminated any marginal people during the downturn, and your remaining people may have endured pay cuts, furloughs or reduced benefits.
At the depths of the recession, many workers feared unemployment and hunkered down to weather the storm with you. Now, jobs for machinists, production engineers and others are more plentiful, and if you want to keep your good employees you need to eliminate any reason for them to leave.
Obviously, you’ll make sure they are fairly compensated and have competitive benefits. But there’s more to it than that. Here are a few things to consider:
Build relationships: You know how important it is to have solid relationships with customers, and the same applies to employees. Human beings are social animals, after all. Yes, some are more social than others, but employees need to feel that they have relationships with fellow worker and their supervisors.
Recognize achievements: Everyone wants their work appreciated, and not just with formal awards. “Thank you,” if sincere, is an underused form of appreciation that every manager should employ on a regular basis.
Share the Big Picture: Employees who have a clear understanding of the impact of their efforts on the company’s overall success are more engaged and enjoy a greater sense of satisfaction.
Invite them to the party: When looking for ideas to help move the company forward, or to improve processes, invite a cross section of your best employees to participate in brainstorming sessions. Then be sure to let them know what decisions you make. By being part of the process, they gain a greater sense of worth.