Any good manufacturing company works hard to provide a workplace environment that is safe and beneficial to all of your employees. By taking care of their employees, manufacturing companies can increase their employee retention, increase productivity, and attract higher-quality applicants to work for them. Here are four great ways that companies can achieve this in their own workplace environments.
Get a Knowledgeable Floor Manager
You will want to hire a floor manager with some technical knowledge of the specific manufacturing processes your company uses. However, it’s also a good idea to get a person that has some interpersonal training and people skills. A good floor manager needs to understand how to manage the finer details of the day-to-day manufacturing as well as the teams that do the work. Too often a manager is hired for one or the other, leading to a well-meaning but out of touch manager, or a knowledgeable but abrasive one. Even if they know every machine down to their gaskets, they will be no use if they can’t communicate effectively with their team. On the flip side, no manager can be effective in directing employees if they don’t know the work that they do. Getting a well-rounded manager is essential to providing your employees the direction they need on the shop floor every day.
Keep Things Clean
Depending on what your company makes and the equipment your workers need to use, the manufacturing floor can quickly become hazardous levels of filthy. Machines might release certain particles or chemicals as they refine raw materials into the products your company sells. Even nontoxic materials like wood can cause lasting damage to the lungs and eyes of employees if they are left exposed to it. Not only should workers wear protective gear, but heavy duty air filters should continuously be at work to ensure that the air remains at safe levels. Surfaces should be kept clean and clear of clutter. As the Harvard Business Review explains, keeping the workplace clean and orderly prevents disruptions and improves efficiency, especially when employees themselves are encouraged to help keep it clean.
Provide a Designated Break Area
When your workers need to take a quick break or go to lunch, it’s a good idea to give them a separate space in which to do that. Having a clean, useful break environment that is away from the manufacturing floor not only is important for effective mental breaks, but it’s also essential for employee health, as well. As previously mentioned, manufacturing shop floors can be dangerously dirty, which means that no food or water should be consumed in that environment. This also provides a place for the body to rejuvenate itself. Cleaning and moisturizing their hands, wiping residue off their faces, and getting deep breaths in fresh and uncontaminated air during lunch breaks will make workers healthier and more productive in the latter hours of their workday.
Encourage Mutual Respect
Shop talk has become something of an expectation with many technical jobs like manufacturing. However, crude speech and behavior actually damages productivity and creates a hostile work environment. One of the main reasons women leave machining industries is because they feel unsafe in their work environment because of the words and behavior of their coworkers. Not only does this behavior make workers feel unsafe, but it also encourages lax behavior on the shop floor, increasing instances of policy breaking and mistakes. Encourage your workers to respect one another and to maintain a safe and professional work environment.
As you can see from some of the examples above, giving your employees or the workers you represent a safe and professional environment is essential to the health of your business. Failure to do so can lead to decreased productivity, sick employees, and loss of great talent. Take time to investigate your shop floor conditions and make sure that your employees are given a safe and effective work environment with effective leadership at the head.