In the dynamic world of manufacturing, seamless internal communication is crucial for streamlined operations and a unified workforce.
Whether you’re managing a large production facility or a smaller assembly line, the right internal communication strategies can enhance productivity, boost employee morale, and drive business success.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key challenges and tips for implementing effective internal communications strategies specifically for manufacturing.
Internal communication challenges in manufacturing
For manufacturers, bridging the gap between the organization and its employees can be challenging.
This is particularly true for deskless workers, who make up a significant proportion of the manufacturing workforce.
Many of these workers may not have regular access to a desktop, so won’t have consistent access to digital communication platforms.
This disconnect can lead to disengagement, affecting overall cohesion and productivity.
The lack of streamlined digital communication can also lead to missed updates and training opportunities.
The engagement crisis
Research by Workday suggests that the manufacturing industry is grappling with some of the highest rates of disengagement.
In fact, a staggering 65% of the manufacturing workforce, in various capacities, are considered to be disengaged.
When you compare this across other industries, manufacturing ranks second from bottom which paints a concerning picture for the industry.
Additional insights suggest that engagement tends to be higher among employees in managerial positions (49%) compared to those in more junior positions (below 44%).
When you consider that a considerable segment of manufacturing employees won’t be in managerial roles, these statistics become particularly pertinent.
Age also plays a key role, with millennials showing lower engagement at 41%, while baby boomers demonstrate slightly higher engagement at 45%. This holds significance as the industry transitions to a new generation of workers.
Benefits of effective internal communications
A robust internal communications strategy yields a range of benefits.
Quality communication enables efficient training management, ensuring the employees receive legally compliant training.
Beyond this, consistent and impactful communication fosters a sense of connectivity among the workforce, particularly in an environment where face-to-face interaction with senior management can be limited.
This connection from a strong strategy enhances overall engagement, leading to higher retention rates, cost savings, and ultimately, improved business performance.
Strategies to enhance communication
The right communication strategies can enhance productivity, boost employee morale, and drive business success.
We’ve provided some tips below to integrate into your plans:
Embrace digital platforms
Leverage modern digital tools to connect your workforce regardless of their physical location. Intranet portals, messaging apps, and collaboration software like Slack or Microsoft Teams can facilitate real-time communication, enabling teams to exchange information, update and documents swiftly.
Establish clear channels
Create well-defined communication channels to ensure information flows seamlessly. Different departments within the manufacturing process should have designated spaces to share updates, challenges, and achievements. This clarity minimizes confusion and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Regular team meetings
Offer employees the opportunity to share insights across the wider business, address concerns, and align their efforts toward common goals. Make sure meetings are structured, focused and encourage open dialogue.
Utilize visuals to convey complex information more effectively. Flowcharts, diagrams, and visual aids can simplify instructions, processes, and safety protocols, reducing the likelihood of errors and misunderstandings on the shop floor.
Acknowledge that many manufacturing roles require constant movement. Ensure that your chosen communication platforms are mobile-friendly, allowing employees to access critical updates and information on the go.
Safety and compliance updates
Safety is paramount for manufacturing companies and internal communications play a pivotal role in disseminating safety protocols, compliance updates, and training materials. This fosters a culture of awareness and responsibility, minimizing risks on the shop floor.
Recognition and Celebration
Whether it’s celebrating production targets, or highlighting outstanding teamwork – recognizing achievements boosts morale and reinforces a sense of belonging. Acknowledge employee’s contributions and milestones across departments. Consider using technology to enable employees and managers to easily share visible recognition.
Create avenues for your employees to provide feedback. Constructive criticism and innovative ideas from those directly involved in production can lead to process improvements and a stronger sense of ownership.
Crisis Communication Planning
In case of emergencies or unexpected disruptions, have a clear crisis communication plan in place. This will ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities – helping to mitigate potential damage.
Training and Skills Development
Communicate opportunities for skill development and training. A skilled workforce contributes to efficiency and innovation. Share information about workshops, courses, and certifications that can enhance employees’ expertise.
A centralized communications hub
Establish a single hub that’s accessible from any device or location. Flexibility is crucial to accommodate the needs of deskless workers.
Ensure you tailor your messages to specific audiences and teams to ensure relevance. This will decrease frustration whilst increasing your levels of engagement.
Communicate in their preferred language
This is particularly important for global companies where dispersed across the world. Consider using tools that make it easy to translate your communications based on their location or primary language.
For manufacturing in particular, efficient internal communication isn’t just a strategy – it’s necessary.
By implementing targeted strategies and harnessing the power of platforms like HulerHub, manufacturing businesses can bridge communication gaps, elevate engagement, and create an empowered workforce that’s ready to drive success.
If you’d like to find out more about HulerHub and how it could help you, talk to one of the team today.