Why Employee Appreciation in Manufacturing Matters


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Editor’s Note: Matt O’Grady is CEO of Matt O’Grady Coaching, specialists in Corporate Gratitude programs which have a measurable impact on employee engagement, retention, workforce attitudes and morale. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Here’s what we know. Workplaces can be a stressful place for employees. And because manufacturing and supply chain environments involve precision timelines from sourcing to production to deliverables – their employee stress levels can be even more significant.

One way to reduce strain and stress levels is through organized corporate gratitude which are also called employee appreciation and recognition programs.

When employees feel appreciated, manufacturers and supply chain companies can expect to see attitudes change, turnovers decrease and retention increase. They can also expect morale to go up and absenteeism to go down. When employees feel valued, workplaces see higher productivity and keener focus –both of which are critical components to maintain manufacturing quality controls and smoother supply chain operations.

It is for these reasons that findings from the recent study conducted by The Incentive Research Foundation were not surprising. They gathered data from 400 firms including 158 manufacturing firms with 71 classified as average performing manufacturing firms and 87 classified as top performing manufacturing firms. The overall findings from the summary say executives at top performing manufacturing firms were “more than twice as likely as those at average performing manufacturing firms to regard their reward and recognition programs as a competitive advantage” and they were “27% more likely to consider reward and recognition programs to be effective recruitment tools and 44% more likely to consider reward and recognition programs as critical tools in managing the performance of the company.”

At this point, the question isn’t whether or not manufacturers should have employee appreciation programs but rather how quickly they can get started! Below are three ways to bring corporate gratitude into your organization:

1. Train managers on how to show appreciation. Managers, supervisors and team leaders are often so focused on outcomes they forget the importance of communicating “thanks” along the way. Gratitude-learning is important and can be done with all of your managers in one briefing or a few at a time (based on the types of jobs and workers they supervise). Start by asking them what they are most grateful for each day and invite them to do the same with their direct reports. By cultivating an open attitude about sharing their feelings, they will gain insights about their emotions and belief systems and how others feel in their workforce.
2. Make employee happiness a priority. When people feel appreciated, they perform better and feel happier overall. When they come to work with a contented mind-set, workers will be enthusiastic and feel motivated to go the extra mile. Make sure all managers take this seriously and implement the five habits in daily life that are known to transform people’s lives: Embrace positivity, Be encouraging, Stay proactive, Choose words wisely, and Show genuine appreciation on an individual basis. Embracing these five foundation steps are essential for building a culture of gratitude.

3. Corporate gratitude must be day-to-day and not just one-day. Once your managers understand the impact employee appreciation can have and are trained on ways to communicate “thanks for a job well done” – they must continue on this path each and every day. It’s important supervisors (and the C-Suite) exhibit patience and stick with the program. It may take time to uproot and change deeply held habits but the positive outcomes will be worth the commitment and time knowing it is sure to drive up morale and productivity. 

Manufacturers and supply chain partners will thrive when they have an energized and engaged workforce. With the need to shift priorities and realign systems based on internal and external challenges, having motivated teams across all departments can make the difference in meeting deadlines and deliverables. Micro-expressions of gratitude from words to emails to tweets can be given out freely and, when done genuinely with regularity, can deliver optimal results.


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2019-10-09 07:05:00


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