Supercharge Productivity With Employee Engagement

Supercharge Productivity With Employee Engagement

Amidst the clatter of machinery and the hustle of daily operations, a concerning trend is emerging. According to Gallup, U.S. employee engagement has hit an 11 year low. But what’s causing this downward slump?

Well, there’s a lot going on in addition to lower job satisfaction and ineffective management. Young workers, the future of blue collar businesses, are feeling increasingly disconnected from their company’s culture. They don’t feel aligned with their employer’s vision and they don’t feel valued by their team or leaders.

Unraveling the Effects

But why should you care about the decline in employee engagement?

Picture this: Joe, an experienced machinist, spends his days in a factory, crafting precision parts. His hands are skilled and his work ethic is unmatched. Yet, lately he feels a growing sense of detachment – like he’s a cog in the machine, rather than a valued team member.

As Joe begins feeling less connected to work, his engagement plummets. Instead of focusing on the work at hand, he starts daydreaming about his plans after work and the day he finally gets to retire and focus on his true passions.

It doesn’t take long before Joe’s supervisor notices a change on the floor. Joe’s dissatisfaction almost seems contagious. Productivity is down and there’s an overall lull in energy. When morale dips, so does the quality of work.

What once was a thriving team, now looks like people just clocking in and clocking out without much effort in between.

Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

Employee engagement isn’t just a buzzword. It’s the ingredient that fuels productivity, safety, and ultimately the prosperity of blue collar businesses. Employee engagement, for better or worse, impacts:

  • Customer Service
  • Employee Referrals
  • Productivity
  • Profitability
  • Quality of Work
  • Retention
  • Safety Incidents

So, what can you do to boost employee engagement if it’s already started to decline?

Start the Conversation

There are a lot of ways to impact engagement, but the easiest way is to talk to your team. Find out what’s important to them. Offer creative solutions.

Ask your team:

  • What drives them?
  • What challenges are they facing at work?
  • What changes would make their work more fulfilling?

Start building employee engagement by encouraging open communication. Host regular team meetings where ideas are shared freely and feedback is appreciated and acted upon.

Consider implementing a mentorship program, where seasoned employees pass down their wisdom to the next generation of workers. Peer coaching is a win-win because it re-engages the more experienced team members while also positively impacting the newer crew.

Remember to recognize contributions and congratulate your team in a way that’s meaningful to them. People naturally want to replicate the efforts of teammates who are being praised for a job well done.

Develop Your Culture

Beyond communication, culture is the cornerstone of building employee engagement. When people feel like they’re part of a functional team, they’re more likely to go the extra mile, ensuring safety protocols are followed and deadlines are met.

A strong company culture creates a sense of belonging and purpose among your employees. Over time, they connect over a shared set of values, norms, and behaviors that guide their actions and decisions. In this type of environment, people are more likely to go above and beyond in their day-to-day work.

A positive work culture also builds trust. This empowers your team to voice their ideas, concerns, and feedback, without fear of backlash. Open communication fosters collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement, since each team member feels valued and respected.

Developing your company’s culture takes more than just crafting a vision statement or hanging motivational posters on the walls – it requires consistent action and investment. Supervisors must lead by example and involve employees in shaping the culture.

Taking the time to invest in developing your company’s culture pays dividends in employee engagement, retention, and overall company performance.

Attract and Retain the Best People

The road to reigniting blue collar employee engagement is worth the effort. Imagine Joe, the unengaged machinist, once again proud to put on his boots each morning, knowing that his contributions matter and that he’s an important part of something bigger. It doesn’t take much to build engagement and position yourself as the place to work.

By focusing on your company’s culture and communication, you’ll be on your way to re-engaging your current team and building something future talent wants to be a part of.

As a business leader, it’s your duty to create an environment where your team aligns with your company’s values, vision, and purpose. By putting energy toward developing your company’s culture, you’ll begin to attract and retain the best employees in your industry.

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