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Internal Communications: Ways To Improve the Connection With Your Factory Workers

5 minute read

In its State of the American Workplace report, Gallup concludes that only 25% of manufacturing workers are engaged at work. That is 8% lower than the national average of 33% employee engagement, making it the least engaged occupation across the United States. Gallup consultants note, “manufacturing companies and factories have not kept pace with the rest of the ever-changing work environment,” and this may impede employee engagement.

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The cost of a disconnected manufacturing workforce

If internal communications are part of your job, you will probably know from experience how difficult it is to reach and connect with your desk-less employees on the production floor. Consequently, you will also be aware of the problems this can cause, such as:

  • Less engagement
  • Lower productivity
  • Higher turnover rates
  • More safety incidents due to poor work instructions

Providing factory workers with the information and tools they need to do their jobs and feel valued and connected -equally as important- will improve operational efficiency, workplace safety and employee engagement. But how do you achieve this level of communication and connection with your hardest-to-reach employees? Here are some things to consider.

Ways to improve production floor communication

1. Use the right communication channel.

The first thing you need is a way to get your messages across. You will need a tool that allows for real-time communication with workers who may or may not have access to a computer. One of the more obvious solutions is to utilize the device that your employees use for their own information needs – the mobile phone.

With an employee communication app, your employees' smartphones become the single channel for every kind of communication. This tool is specially designed to connect with non-desk workers and combines all the possibilities of other digital communication tools, such as:

  • Real-time updates
  • Push notifications for urgent messages
  • Targeting teams and individuals with information in their own language
  • Identifying and rewarding internal ambassadors
  • Two-way communication
  • Training and onboarding options
  • Feedback and polls
  • Analytics

2. Make your employees feel valued.

Factory workers often only have contact with their shift mates and supervisors. Thus, such employees may start to feel less in touch with the company culture and wonder if their work is even fully appreciated and recognized by the higher echelons. An employee app offers possibilities to bridge this gap. Think of a personal message from the CEO, or public appraisal for an outstanding team effort. Through videos and games, you can make the company culture and values more tangible. And showing your workers that you are listening to them, whether in a personal call or as a poll result, will do a lot for engagement and job satisfaction.

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3. Prioritize safety even more.

Safety is the main concern on every factory floor. Still, there is a lot to gain in this respect, as these facts show. An employee app can help reduce the number of accidents because it is such an effective tool for onboarding and training. And in case of emergencies, push notifications are the fastest way to inform everyone who is involved.

4. Keep it attractive.

Company information can be just as pleasant to digest as, let’s say, social media notifications and updates. That is another reason why you should invest in an employee app today! It is the most up-to-date communication tool because it gives your employees the same slick and convenient experience they get from their consumer apps.

Final thoughts

When you think about effective communication, you have to consider two factors: what you say, and how you say it. For the former, apart from work-related information, your employees on the production floor will appreciate the kind of communication that makes them feel part of the company or even the heart of the company. As for the “how”, use a tool that gives you all the possibilities to say things in your own way.

 

Looking for more internal communications insights? Check our Internal communication – a strategic perspective white-paper to learn how internal communication contributes to change management and internal marketing. 

Rob is a content writer, copywriter and novelist. His work for Apple, WWF, Mercedes-Benz and many other brands has been awarded with prestigious creative awards.

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