Culture has been the topic of several of my past blogs including “Building an Organizational Culture of Trust and Respect”, “Business Survival and a Team-Based Culture”, and “Performance Appraisals: Creating a Performance Management Culture.” The importance of building a sustainable culture for manufacturing organizations has become increasingly vital with the new trend called: “The Great Resignation.” What is this new trend? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April. In a recent Microsoft report, another 41% of the global workforce is considering leaving their jobs this year.
The days when the average manufacturing employee would work for the same company for 40 or 50 years before they retired are long gone. Employees are no longer interested in working for manufactures that have a predominantly “command and control” management culture. They want to work for manufacturing organizations that have healthy cultures of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. If manufacturers do not take steps to create a culture that allows them to be recognized as an “Employer of Choice,” they will compound the difficulty of attracting and hiring new employees with an increased attrition rate of existing employees.
Here are 5 things to consider that can enhance your organizational culture:
- Organizational Purpose and Values. This is another subject I have had in multiple blogs including my previous post, “Organizational Purpose VS The Great Resignation.” Manufacturing employees today want, and need, to believe in both the organization and what they do for the organization. This means more than just posting a Mission and Vision statement. It means defining the purpose and values of the organization and then using them as the guiding force for all decisions made by everyone within the organization. This gives them an emotional connection to the organization. People will stay with a manufacturing organization when they believe in the cause and conduct of that organization.
- Organizational Diversity and Inclusion. These are big topics in society and need to be addressed in a healthy manner. Manufacturers need to respect the diversity of their workforce and the customers they serve. Development and mentoring opportunities should be available for all employees. Inclusion also means giving manufacturing employees a say in what happens in the organization. For more on this subject check out my blog “Building Organizational Diversity: Seven Steps to Success.”
- Organizational Leadership Style. The old “command and control” leadership style of the past is no longer tolerated by the new workforce. Manufacturing managers will have high attrition rates when using this dictatorial leadership style. Employees also rate them on sites like “Glassdoor” to warn off other potential new employees from suffering the same fate at the hands of these antiquated managers. Manufacturers need to train managers on how to motivate and lead with inclusion. For more on this read my blog “The 8 Be-Attitudes of Motivational Leadership.”
- Organizational Flexibility. With the vaccine being readily available to those that want it, manufacturing organizations are asking employees that had worked from home to come back to the office. The problem is that these employees no longer want to spend the time or money commuting back and forth from work. They have had a taste of the benefits of working virtually and they like it. Manufacturers may need to offer flexible schedules to entice employees to return to the office. This might mean that nonessential employees start working only a couple of days a week at the office or adjusting schedules, so people do not have to sit in rush hour traffic. Organizations should take a serious look at what they can do to accommodate more employees scheduling needs if they want to retain them in the future.
- Organizational Philanthropy. Employees are looking at what the organization is doing to give back to the community. They want to know that the organization stands for more than just making a buck. If your organization is not already doing food drives, cleaning up beaches, or fundraising for a worthy cause you should consider doing something. Ask the employees “In What Ways Could We Give Back?” This gives a voice to the employees and will help them to connect better with the organization.
The future of manufacturing organizations will depend on their ability to attract and retain their greatest asset…their employees. Organizations that want to proactively attract new employees and retain existing ones will consider how they can improve in the 5 areas listed above. This will position them with a strategic advantage against the competition in the future.
Join us for a complimentary webinar, Creating a Culture of Enthusiasm, on November 10, 2021, from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM.