In a soft economy and increased government regulations for suppliers to expand worker voice programs, to continue to scalable worker engagement programs can prove to be both difficult and more importantly cost prohibitive. Certainly, we don’t need to demonstration the value of a worker engagement program, multiple global studies have shown that investing in worker engagement programs are critical to suppliers’ profitability, worker output, and the QA defect rate.
However, what if no budget exists to invest in worker engagement? It’s proven that these two areas will improve a worker’s engagement level.
- IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS, I HAVE RECEIVED RECOGNITION OR PRAISE FOR DOING GOOD WORK.
- MY SUPERVISOR, OR SOMEONE AT WORK, SEEMS TO CARE ABOUT ME AS A PERSON.
One tactic can go a long way in motivating workers to do their best work:
Say… Thank You.
This may sound unconventional or reasonable in a manufacturing environment, but it’s possible to get results at scale. Reinforcing positive behaviors with positive behavior (like expressing appreciation) tend to lead to more positive behaviors. Studies have shown reinforcement works better than punishment or consequences, and consequences or negative feedback has been shown to negatively impact worker engagement. Sending a Thank-you message on Internal Messaging or Company News functions in a worker tech tool is enough to make your workers happy.
Bang for Your Buck
The real brilliance of worker recognition is to improve worker engagement is that it can cost a company no more than a few moments of the recognizers and the exemplary worker’s time. It can even be done during regular evaluations to further improve performance. In large suppliers, they leverage a mobile worker tech by adding recognition banner or as a company announcement on Company News function. This worker engagement strategy can work simply and seamlessly into the everyday flow of operations with little planning or oversight.
Good help is hard to find, but it may be even harder to keep. Four out of every five employers state that worker retention is very important to their organization, even urgent. Recognizing worker’s exemplary performance is a simple and highly effective way to retain high-potential workers. P&MM found in a recent study that workers who receive recognition by their superiors for their efforts stay with companies an average of four years longer.
There are many ways to implement a worker recognition program to improve engagement in a factory. Here are a few ideas:
- Simple Line Leader Recognition. Instruct line leaders to compliment workers for a job well done. This can be a simple thanks for going above and beyond on a project or a formal recognition of improvement or the meeting of productivity goals during an evaluation. Make sure line leaders are making it a point to tell people when they’re doing great work.
- Send mass messages in CIQ with pictures of individual workers and group achievements and work anniversaries. Workers to see their colleagues in such a public setting is exciting, companies can allow workers to express congratulations. In some cases, suppliers have also posted a large visible sign at the entrance of the factory saying, “Thank You”.
- Make it a part of the morning Line Leader meeting. Use the first or last few minutes of the morning meetings to recognize outstanding worker performance or key achievements. This could mean calling upon individual workers, specific members of a line, or the entire company for doing an exceptional job or meeting a hard-fought goal.
- Simple Physical Rewards. Offer up actual rewards for exemplary performance, attendance, production, or earning. Coupons for an extra Apple or Coke at lunch. If you have small budget, passing out pens, coffee mugs, for those CIQ suppliers you could issue gold coins to be redeemed in the store.
- Simple Recognition. Each worker has required on the job, EHS trainings or other tasks. When workers finished trainings and other required tasks, express your appreciation and are gratitude for finishing these tasks with gold coins, badges, or certificates.
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