Creating an employee-centric culture in your manufacturing workplace

How to build an employee-centric employment experience for your factory team

The employee experience is central to any organization’s success. Company culture is only as healthy as your core employees believe it to be.

Companies can benefit tremendously from grassroots improvements that are based on employee active participation and feedback. Effective communication tools and practices facilitate these improvements while increasing employee engagement.

What is an employee-centric culture?

Companies that are centered around their employees are employee-centric.

An employee-centric culture:

  • Prioritizes positive employee experiences

  • Considers all business decisions through the lens of employee engagement

Employee-centric employers ask questions like:

  • How will this shift in policy be perceived by employees?

  • How will it impact morale on the team?

  • What about the impact on employee retention?

The HR function in employee-centric organizations is responsible for creating user-friendly processes, inclusive practices, and competitive pay and benefits packages.

People operations in these organizations often rely heavily on effective communication to reinforce their commitment to their teams.

How do you create an employee-centric culture in the workplace?

  • Provide your team with technology that enhances their experience

  • Expand what inclusion means for your team

  • Ask your team directly for ways to improve your culture

Provide your team with technology that enhances their experience

The right technology is central to the employee experience. Whether you have old, bad, or nonexistent technology in your workplace - it has an impact on your team.

Many shift workers, for example, work in places where internet connectivity is poor or unavailable. They are also more likely to struggle with completing online time off requests and onboarding forms without heavy assistance from HR.

Paper forms are time-consuming, difficult to search and sort and are not backed up to prevent data loss. A company’s dependence on online applications or paper files leads to ineffective communication, less collaboration and reduced productivity.

According to HPPY, employees see using their mobile devices as the ideal way to overcome these challenges.

By avoiding obstacles created by ineffective technology, employers can increase worker productivity and workplace satisfaction.

Expand what inclusion means for your team

Inclusion is good for business. According to Forbes, when employees feel excluded from a company’s mission, culture or structure, they are “less likely to invest their time and energy into the future and longevity of that organization.”

Inclusion, in the context of work, means recruiting, welcoming, accepting, developing and promoting many types of people who have historically been excluded on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability or other protected characteristics. It means giving employees with different backgrounds equal access to the company resources that they need to be successful.

Included employees, in contrast, go the extra mile to help their team and their organization succeed because they feel connected and invested.

HR and company leadership can make employees feel more included through shared technology, systems and processes. When team members at all levels communicate using the same tool, there is greater cohesion, collaboration and recognition.

To make employees feel included, employers can go the extra mile by doing things like:

  • Learning how to communicate with their team who do not speak english as a first language

  • Offering training and resources in other languages,

  • Or going even further and specifically helping these groups of people advance their careers

Ask your team directly for ways to improve your culture

According to Ameritas, asking employees for their input on tools and benefits that impact them increases employee ownership, contributes to leadership development, improves employee engagement, and builds a better rapport.

There are many great ways to solicit individual and team input.

Some of the best ways to solicit hourly workers’ feedback include:

  • In-person town hall meetings

  • An open-door policy between front-line employees and management

  • Shirt surveys and text-based suggestion boxes

In-person town hall meetings

Townhall meetings are an open forum for employees to discuss their suggestions and concerns with management in a transparent, direct way. They also allow leadership to make important company announcements and reinforce the company’s mission, vision, and values. This type of two-way accountability empowers employees and provides them more ownership over their work processes and outcomes.

An open-door policy between front-line employees and management

By being more accessible, managers increase the likelihood of employees resolving their grievances internally. They also improve morale because employees feel valued and heard.

Keeping an open-door policy and encouraging healthy communication is important - especially when dealing with issues surrounding excessive absences.

Short surveys and text-based suggestion boxes

Employee engagement surveys and pulse surveys have been around for quite some time. Mobile friendly engagement tools can help organizations quickly understand how morale and culture are felt amongst employees.

No matter what route you take, or what tools you use, as long as you are focused on the impact your organization’s actions have on retention and morale, then you are moving in the right direction when it comes to building an employee-centric culture.

Susan Snipes is a certified, global HR professional with more than 10 years of experience in Human Resources Management. She advises executive leadership teams on all aspects of people operations and compliance. Her background includes supporting companies in manufacturing, ecommerce and other industries.

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