James Darmstadt, Supplier Quality Product Senior Manager, GE Appliances
Manufacturing Day is the first Friday in October (October 7), and while traditionally it’s a day to highlight manufacturing careers to students, it’s also the perfect time to thank all your manufacturing employees for their amazing work over the past year. Recognition and appreciation help build the thriving cultures that make companies a magnet for talent.
Every one of your employees deserves to be recognised in a big way after more than 2 years of pivoting processes and equipment to meet Covid requirements, keeping production on time with fewer staff, and managing supply chain issues.
Recognition helps employees feel appreciated and valued and can lead to higher employee retention and increased productivity. Unfortunately, 53% of manufacturing employees say productivity and bottom lines are more important to their organisation than people, and 1 out of 4 manufacturing employees does not trust their direct manager. With continued worker shortages from the Great Resignation, employers must sustain employee morale and help their people feel connected, or risk losing their best talent.
2022 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner
This year, in addition to meals and fun activities, remember to show your employees genuine, heartfelt appreciation for all the work they do to meet their goals, take care of customers, and keep your organisation going. Here are 4 meaningful ways to recognise your employees during Manufacturing Day (and beyond):
Only 66% of manufacturing employees say their leader appreciates the work they do. While most organisations showcase their state-of-the-art equipment and tools, new products, and innovations to the world during Manufacturing Day, don’t forget to also highlight your greatest asset: your human capital.
Giving points through your employee recognition program is an easy and quick way to say thank you with a tool your people already use.
Over a third (36%) of manufacturing employees say the recognition they receive feels like an empty gesture. So recognise them in a meaningful way that lets them choose gifts that are personal to them. Tools like Culture Cloud have a built-in Group Deposit feature that allows you to give every employee a certain amount of points that they can use to choose a personal gift they’ll love.
Then extend the appreciation throughout the year by recognising whenever employees meet specific KPI or production goals, safety and efficiency targets, or innovate at work.
The award makes up over 40% of the impact of the entire recognition experience, so be thoughtful in what you give. Consider a special symbolic gift to thank them for helping you through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and meeting increased demand, post-pandemic.
Many of the best manufacturing companies create beautiful custom awards that symbolise the products their employees proudly make every day, or a new product that’s about to launch, and share it with all employees to instill pride and build connection to their work. Other manufacturing companies have given an employee reward that is both practical and memorable. Things like:
Have leaders present these gifts in a thoughtful recognition moment to build connection with each employee—don’t just have employees come down to HR to pick up their gifts. Give them out at an office party, team lunch, or on-site festival or activity, and have senior leaders be present to express their appreciation.
Recognition shouldn’t just be limited to leaders during Manufacturing Day. 44% of manufacturing workers say they rarely receive recognition from others when they do great work. But recognition from peers can strengthen connection, belonging, and inclusion. It also reduces burnout and improves teamwork. Tools like Culture Cloud make recognition easy, fun, and meaningful.
63% of manufacturing employees say their organisation only recognises the large accomplishments, not the smaller everyday efforts of their people. Build appreciation into your employee experience and show appreciation throughout the year because your employees do great work and go the extra mile every day.
Be sure to recognise the daily efforts, above and beyond accomplishments, career anniversaries, and team successes of your people. And if you need examples for reference, see how top manufacturing companies like CEAT, GE Appliances, and BASF recognise their employees and positively impacted their company culture.
However you choose to recognise, you’ll be building a workplace culture where your people feel connected, valued, and want to stay.
Dilip Modak, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, CEAT
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