Managing Employees

7 Ways to Make Your Employees More Productive

September 24, 2013

EmployeeManagers and owners of CNC machine shops are always striving for greater productivity through new techniques and technologies. It’s true that more capable machine tools and automating certain functions are keys to improving performance. However, even the most advanced manufacturing facilities need talented, committed people to make the most of these tools. So how do you keep your employees motivated?

Truth is, most new employees are eager to do an outstanding job, and grateful for the opportunity. Unfortunately, all too soon human nature kicks in and employees can begin to feel unappreciated and less enthusiastic about their jobs. With this in mind, here are some simple things every manager should do to keep employees engaged in the work they perform.

  1. Say “Thank you.” Yes, you’re paying this person to do a job, but most of us like to know that our work is appreciated. So when an employee puts forth extra effort, learns a new technique, or helps another employee they deserve a pat on the back.
  2. Make sure employees know what’s expected. It’s really hard to feel that you’re doing a good job if you don’t know the criteria. So, spell it out plainly.
  3. Reward results, not longevity. Your compensation plan should base salary increases and bonuses on how well your employees achieve their goals. One of the greatest disincentives for employees is the knowledge that everyone gets the same pay regardless of how well they perform. Of course, this means you must establish metrics that allow you to accurately assess each employee’s contribution.
  4. Give them the right tools. If you expect your people to perform, you must make sure they have what they need to do the job well. The right equipment, training and facility maintenance are essential to maximizing employee productivity.
  5. Set a good example. The management team must live up to the standards they set for the people they supervise. That means you have to show up on time, pitch in to solve problems and keep a positive attitude. If you expect your employees to care, you must demonstrate that you do too.
  6. Have some fun. Manufacturing is a serious business, and engineers, machine operators and support staff know that. But, workdays without a few laughs or social interactions become drudgery. Employees appreciate having a break/lunch area that allows them to relax for a short time, maybe watch a little TV, play some ping-pong or even shoot a few hoops.
  7. Feed ‘em. Free food is always welcome. So treat your people to a free meal when you have the occasional breakfast or lunch meeting.

It’s really not that hard to let employees know they’re appreciated and important to the company’s success. In the end, motivating your people is a matter of treating them well and fairly.