Promoting Culture in the Workplace for Engaged, Motivated Employees

Promoting Culture in the Workplace for Engaged, Motivated Employees

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In the manufacturing industry, the strength of your company’s culture has a direct effect on its success.

Discussions about pay and career shifts are commonplace, but now more than ever before, companies large and small are starting to realize that at the core of employee satisfaction and retention lies in a strong workplace culture.

What Is Company Culture, And Why Is It Important?

Beyond offering competitive wages and benefits, culture refers to the belief system of a company and how its values impact decisions at every level — from business priorities to hiring and managing employees.

Company culture plays a significant factor in employee satisfaction, impacting everyone from business executives to production floor workers. And satisfied employees are engaged employees that influence overall business success.

According to a survey by CultureIQ, companies with strong cultures saw a 4x increase in revenue growth. Furthermore, 66% of C-suite executives believe culture impacts performance more significantly than strategy or business models.

warehouse team celebrating a big win

Seeing Positive Workplace Cultures in Action

Every year, companies like Smart Business Magazine’s Smart Culture Conference & Awards, Forbes World’s Best Employers, and NABR’s Best & Brightest Companies To Work For highlight top workplaces from Northern Ohio to across the globe.

Results are based on employee surveys and reviews, and allow workers to see proof of companies that live their values and prioritize positive treatment of employees.

Companies like JM Family Enterprises and 3M are prime examples of how positive cultures can enhance workplace atmosphere and employee engagement. For instance, JM Family Enterprises was listed as the #2 Fortune Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production, where 95% of employees said they felt welcome at work.

3M also holds a place at #6 on World’s Best Workplaces, with 92% of employees indicating they feel like a member of the team regardless of their position.

manufacturing workers in a positive workplace

Cultivating Culture in Your Business: Actionable Steps to Take Right Now

Culture is tied to a lot of aspects of your business that, when lacking, can have a costly impact on your bottom line. If you’re seeing high employee turnover and low morale, it might be worth taking a step back and examining your current culture.

Identify Your Core Values

If your company’s values aren’t clear to your leadership or teams, or if you don’t have any defined values at all, your first step is to identify them.

Create a task force to draft core values that apply to the entire organization. Remember to include all employees in these discussions so you don’t fall victim to designing a culture only for the executives. That’s a common trap, as highlighted by PwC’s findings that 77% of senior management feel connected to the company’s values vs. just 54% for everyone else.

Once your values are well-defined, it’s time to increase awareness of what they mean. Hosting contests or giving out awards can be a good way to honor those exemplifying your culture while also showing team members examples how to incorporate values in the workplace.

Conduct Employee Surveys

Understanding employee perceptions through surveys is crucial for diagnosing and improving your company’s culture. To make the most of these surveys:

  • Frequency: Conduct them regularly, not just annually. This helps track the progress of your initiatives and keeps the feedback loop active.
  • Depth: Include questions that dig deep into the core aspects of your workplace environment, such as leadership effectiveness, workplace satisfaction, and alignment with company values.
  • Action: It’s vital to act on the feedback received. Share the results with your teams and discuss actionable steps. This not only shows that you value their input but also reinforces their role in shaping the company culture.
team building event ring toss celebration

Host Culture-Building Events

Whether they are virtual team-building exercises, providing lunch for your onsite team, or sponsoring a company-wide after-hours outing, these events help reinforce the sense of community and shared goals.

Companies that break from day-to-day operations produce happier, more productive employees by helping them feel valued and connected to each other.

Be Transparent

Keeping your executive team locked away and all business matters a secret has a tendency to make employees feel undervalued, unappreciated, and out of the loop, which in turn could increase turnover rates and morale.

This is why open lines of communication are essential in building trust. Everyone in your business is working toward the same common goal, and being transparent about your company’s operations, successes, and failures makes employees feel not only valued but integral to the organization’s success.

distribution manager giving feedback to employee

Offer Real-Time Feedback To All Employees

Don’t wait until bi-annual or yearly reviews to offer feedback to your teams. Both criticism and praise should be given throughout the person’s tenure to ensure they’re aware of their strengths and opportunities for improvement.

According to a survey by SHRM, 89% of HR leaders believe feedback and check-ins have a positive effect on an organization. Make sure you’re tackling issues in real-time so they don’t get out of hand or come as a surprise down the road.

Consistent feedback is a good way to keep your best workers in check, motivated, and striving to achieve more.

Provide Learning and Development Opportunities

The benefits of development opportunities for your business are two-fold. You’re not only showing your employees you want them to be successful, you’re becoming a more competitive player in the marketplace.

Consider mentorship programs and upskilling courses. Pair new associates with seasoned team members to help them learn the ropes, and offer training and development courses during work hours.

Promote from Within

Whenever possible, look to your current workforce for future leaders. Promoting from within has several benefits for maintaining a strong company culture:

  • Career Pathways: Clearly define career pathways within the organization. This transparency gives employees a clear sense of direction and shows that their growth and ambitions are supported.
  • Leadership Development: Invest in leadership development programs that prepare employees for higher roles. This includes training in soft skills, management abilities, and understanding of the broader business context.
  • Success Stories: Regularly highlight success stories of employees who have risen through the ranks. This acts as a motivator and shows that the company backs its people for long-term success.

Make Work Fun

Who said that teams couldn’t have fun at work? The good news is that production doesn’t have to stop for fun to begin (in fact, it will probably make the team more productive).

Workplace rituals integrate fun into the work environment and can bring your teams together. This could be through music, games, or social events. It can even be as simple as giving them a high-five at the beginning of every shift or choosing walk-out music to play every time they come to work.

However you choose to make work fun, just remember that a happy workplace is a productive one.

manufacturing teammates laughing with each other

Get To Know Your Employees

The worst thing you can do for company culture is to make your employees feel like another cog in the machine, so make the effort to get to know them.

Know their names or nicknames, celebrate their accomplishments (both in and out of the workplace), and keep all lines of communication open. Don’t be afraid to show your personality either; your teams want to know that you’re a human too!

When you provide an atmosphere where your workers feel like they belong and are valued for their contributions, they will feel more motivated to take ownership of their work.

What’s Next?

Cultivating a thriving company culture is a continuous process that requires commitment from every level of your organization. By actively developing a culture that promotes engagement and satisfaction, you not only enhance your operational success but also make your company a desirable place to work.

By focusing on these foundational aspects, manufacturers can build a culture that attracts and retains top talent, ultimately leading to reduced turnover, improved morale, and enhanced productivity. Let’s make our workplaces not just places of work, but hubs of growth and satisfaction.

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