Increasing workforce productivity in manufacturing

According to a 2015 Gallup survey, only 32 percent of employees in the United States were engaged in their work, while another 17.2 percent were actively disengaged. Employee productivity is a big concern for manufacturing employers. Lower productivity is bound to affect businesses’ bottom line. Still, low productivity cannot be blamed on the employees alone. The workforce on shop floors, who perform repetitive tasks daily, every day, year after year, can become unmotivated. After all, it is human nature to get dulled down by monotony. 

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So, how can manufacturers improve employee productivity in the organization as well as on the shop floor? Here are some ideas:

Analyze the numbers

Keep track of productivity numbers, starting with the present. Analyze any changes at frequent intervals. Calculate the average amount of productivity throughout the past year. If there are any variations between months, try to figure out what might be the cause of lower productivity in one month compared to the higher productivity month. This can be kept as the reference point to determine how the production cycles are operating monthly in the next year. Review and take appropriate steps to increase employee productivity.

Keep a careful watch on employee burnout

At times, the problem with low employee productivity is not lack of motivation or disinterest—it may be the exact opposite. There are some employees who are always willing to go the extra mile; they will not complain nor will they shrink from a challenge. It is often these employees that experience burnout first or most severely. Look for employees who work more hours and tend to take no personal or vacation time off. Especially those who are in a physically demanding job might need a little help. Replacing the employee can be an easy solution, but not always the best one. Instead, look into cross-training or upskilling as alternatives.

Bring your employees on the same page

If employees are not on the same page, those great end results and goals any manufacturing company is chasing will be much, much harder to achieve. To help correct this, hold regular meetings and make sure that employees share a common set of core values. Try to make meetings more productive by avoiding any blame games and allow employees to build a sense of self-responsibility. Encourage teamwork to achieve common goals.

 Get employees to engage and learn

By encouraging employees to engage with eLearning as their go-to source of information for the answers they need, an employer is investing in their workforce. ELearning is scalable and can involve any number of departments as per the changing needs of the company. Moreover, eLearning can be customized with specific, relevant content for employees without any big additional investment. Organizations which give more importance to empowering employees with the knowledge and skills required to work to the best of their abilities are more likely to see a significant increase in productivity.

A skilled and talented workforce is the best asset for any organization, so they need to be tapped to their fullest by keeping them motivated to perform and deliver the results they are qualified for and capable of.

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