In the post-pandemic, Great Resignation era, quiet quitting has emerged as the latest workplace buzzword. Employees incorporate quiet quitting into their workflow when they feel their job is unsatisfying and begin doing the bare minimum required in their role. At the same time, they are actively looking for another opportunity to arise so they can leave their current job.
Given the frequency of quiet quitting across a number of industries, including manufacturing, this raises the question of what some businesses are lacking when it comes to attracting new employees and retaining their current ones.
A recent Forbes article stated, “Businesses that cultivate human, colleague-to-colleague relationships have a secret weapon toward a happier and more fruitful team.” Creating those strong relationships in the manufacturing industry can be challenging due to the production environment. Still, it is critical to combat employees’ quitting quietly and decrease the industry’s turnover rate by forming stronger relationships.
How can you create a more collaborative workplace culture in the manufacturing industry? Employees must be met where they are by their leaders. Although it may appear that production line workers don’t wish to build personal bonds with their co-workers, this shouldn’t be an assumption. They should see the example from the top down.
Show Employees It’s Okay to be Vulnerable
Making connections in our personal lives frequently requires us to be open and vulnerable with the people we want to develop lasting bonds with. Manufacturing leaders can bring some of that vulnerability to work. It’s not necessary to disclose every aspect of your private life at work, but it’s important to show a more personable side to employees in the hopes they will do the same. Take some time to ask employees how their weekend went. If you know they have a specific hobby or pastime outside of work, ask them about it. Assure them that although they may deal with products and equipment daily, they don’t have to be robots.
Be Open to New Ideas
Manufacturing continues to evolve as an industry and so should its employees. Ask front-line employees how their jobs are going and what the company can do better to improve their on-the-job experience. Such ideas can help the company move forward with the workers already there and encourage new employees that their voices will be heard and can make a difference. More opportunities for training or a mentorship program for new manufacturing workers could also be helpful.
Along with seeking employee feedback, manufacturing leaders need to be available and engaged with employees. Create a space to give feedback and address any pain points they may face.
Building a more connected workplace culture is a two-way street. It’s important for both manufacturing leaders and employees to work together to make the job experience more enjoyable and change the manufacturing culture one step at a time.