A satisfied and productive workforce is the lifeblood of any good company. Sadly however many companies fall short when it comes to creating an atmosphere that values and rewards their employees. It is a common belief that providing a job and a steady salary is enough to motivate employees; however those companies that operate with this belief system many times find themselves with poor worker production and high turnover. Here are a few ideas for you to improve relations with your employees and help them produce at their best.
No matter what position an employee has in your company, everyone is a human being. Humans desire to be understood and valued for our opinions. The best companies make this a part of their regular operating procedures. Consider holding regular staff meetings that include the company's blue-collar workforce. Encourage employees to voice their opinions and suggestions on how to improve working conditions, equipment, production processes and safety procedures. Allowing your workforce to take part in regular meetings will not only give management valuable insight, it will also promote a higher level of trust and positive involvement for everyone.
For a variety of reasons it is good business to maintain a safe work environment. In addition, to being financially smart and required by law, emphasizing employee safety can have a big impact on employee morale and motivation. Regularly evaluate your safety procedures and equipment. Identify weaknesses in safety standards and production processes and make sure that your employees are supplied with the proper tools and equipment. Failing to honor requests for upgraded or adequate equipment and supplies may relay a negative message to your employees and reduce morale. Employees who perform dangerous jobs, such as those that deal with hazardous waste, rely on their co-workers for their safety. A worker's confidence in his working relationship with other employees can lead to an increase in job satisfaction.
Perform routine evaluations for each employee on a consistent basis. Use the opportunity to recognize individual worker achievements and as a private way of addressing concerns. It is also very important for workplace morale that uncooperative or abusive workers are disciplined immediately and in a consistent manner. Maintaining a professional work atmosphere, free from disruptive behavior is crucial to keep productivity strong while reducing negative attitudes.
Blue-collar workers are most often paid hourly. Built into wages are company benefits, such as retirement and health insurance. Labor unions negotiate rates with employers based on such factors as job function and seniority. Non-union employees are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, but their job satisfaction still relies on being paid a fair wage. A competitive pay package can establish employee job satisfaction and provide motivation. Also consider offering a profit-sharing plan that will allow your employees to share in the company's success. Other perks such as making improvements to break areas, vending machines and other worker-centered services may help improve employee satisfaction.
Providing a safe environment, showing respect by seeking and valuing employee contributions and providing amenities such as break rooms and vending machines are all ways to show that you care about your employees. They are not hard to do but require a commitment and consistency. They are traits of the best companies with the highest worker productivity. The best place to start is to take a step back and evaluate your current work environment. Find opportunities to show your employees that you value them. It may be the best decision you make this year.