Best Practices

How to Engage Manufacturing Industry Employees


Dealing with negative employee attrition factors and ultimately a disengaged workforce leads to direct and indirect costs for the affected companies.

The reality is, all companies are struggling with employee engagement, no matter the industry. In fact, high turnover and employee disengagement are common issues that leaders and human resources representatives have been trying to tackle.

Research shows that one of the best ways to do so is to effectively recognize and reward employees for their positive behaviour and hard work. When properly undertaken, these efforts almost always result in better productivity and lower employee turnover rates.

While every sector of the economy is concerned, the manufacturing industry has been experiencing skills shortages that are only expected to grow as the population ages. For this reason, Canadian employers are looking for effective ways to reduce their employee turnover – but this exercise can be rather tricky, especially for companies working on a limited budget.

So, how important is employee recognition in the manufacturing industry? And what are the key drivers of employee engagement in the manufacturing industry?

Four Effective Ways to Drive Employee Engagement for Manufacturing Workers

1. Frequently reward positive behaviours and successes, small or big.

By doing so, you show your employees that their work is valued on a daily basis. Means of employee recognition and staff appreciation can be as simple as sending them a handwritten thank you note or a public announcement about one of their achievements.

2. Be creative in your use of incentives.

People will remember non-monetary incentives and rewards more than monetary ones, so the former have a greater impact on employee engagement and retention. One of the best ways to do so is by implementing an employee reward and recognition program that is personalized and adapted to your workforce. Such programs work by providing your teams with a personalized reward catalogue in which they can choose the gifts they really appreciate.

3. Make your recognition program available to all of your manufacturing employees, not only management or employees who are already your best performers.

By doing so, you are encouraging everyone in your company to perform at their best and set personal goals for themselves. If you effectively reward positive behaviours, you will only encourage more of them among your staff.

4. Connect your recognition program with a health and safety program.

The word “training” rarely inspires much excitement. However, you know how crucial it is to reduce the hazards related to the operation of industrial machines and ensure health and safety on the job. A recognition program can help you motivate workers with immediate motivators and potential payoffs. Incentivize your employees and make them better at their job.

The manufacturing sector is facing high skills shortage rates, however, employers have ways to counter that.  Manufacturing companies need to stay up to date with modern recognition strategies and provide people with a high-quality program that truly engages current employees and attracts potential future ones.

Employees will stay if they are shown appreciation and recognition for their work. That’s why a strong retention strategy is a must-have.