Changing Manufacturing Culture

The culture of the manufacturing industry can be hard to define. Many believe it is easier to describe what it isn’t than what it is. However, what many can agree on is that the culture surrounding the manufacturing industry is generally traditional as opposed to progressive.

Some believe this command-and-control, traditional culture could be affecting the talent the industry brings in. It has a high probability of talent gaps and succession planning problems. New graduates that are looking for work are more interested in a forward thinking or progressive culture, rather than the traditional.

By adopting a more progressive outlook and culture, manufacturers will have a better chance at recruiting talent and challenging high-potential individuals. Small changes can have a huge impact. Here are some of the ways to make the manufacturing culture more progressive:

Idea Sharing: Employees like to feel that their input and ideas are valued. Give them a forum to express their ideas, discuss them, mold them and eventually implement them. If employees are reluctant at first to share their ideas, have the organization leaders start by sharing their ideas.

No Annual Reviews: A once-a-year huge review can be intimidating, and does not promote constant feedback and communication. Instead, aim to continuously give feedback, both informal and formal. Also, take more time to celebrate what is being done correctly and well. Positive feedback encourages employees to keep improving.

Communicate: Communication is important in any organization and is often underutilized. Newsletters are a great way to keep everyone in the loop and not take too much time away from production. This can help increase employee engagement and morale.

Creating a more progressive culture can take time and might be met with resistance. However, to keep up with shifting views and mindsets of new workers, change might be necessary.