Manufacturing companies across the U.S. struggle to engage and retain workers. According to Quantum Workplace, voluntary turnover in the manufacturing industry has surpassed annual levels compared to those in the early 2010s.
In addition, just 68% of manufacturing workers were considered highly engaged, while 28% were considered a retention risk. Fortunately, technology is revolutionizing how workers perform their duties and significantly enhancing employee engagement in the manufacturing industry.
Today, manufacturing organizations can leverage technology to boost employee engagement, increase productivity, and develop effective recruitment strategies.
The Importance of Engagement in Employee Benefits
Employee engagement refers to the measurement of commitment and loyalty that an employee shows to a company through work ethic and productivity levels. It is common for employee engagement to change over time, especially among workers who spend many years working for an employer.
Highly engaged employees tend to work harder in their job roles and believe more in a company’s beliefs and values. Maintaining engaged employees is essential for organizations as engaged workers are likelier to do their best work and act as company advocates.
Challenges Faced by HR Departments in Employees Utilizing Their Benefits
The employee benefits landscape can be complex for both employers and employees. According to a Voya survey, one-third of American workers do not understand the benefits that they selected during the open enrollment period. When employees misuse or underutilize their benefits, it can create problems for HR departments.
Human resources are responsible for educating employees about what benefits are available and which are best suited for their needs and families. Developing a robust communication plan that provides workers with interactive platforms, educational resources, and regular and transparent updates about benefits is key to increasing employee engagement.
Engagement’s Impact on Productivity, Safety and Talent Retention
The importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. Employee engagement affects many areas of the workplace, including productivity, safety, and talent retention. Engaged employees are often more motivated, strive for excellence, and are excited about their work. They are also more likely to remain with the company for longer, resulting in increased retention rates.
Engaged employees also lead to a safer work environment. When employees are engaged in their work, they are more aware of their surroundings and are more likely to follow safety-related best practices.
Leveraging Technology for Better Employee Engagement with Benefits
Employee engagement is created when there is an atmosphere of collaboration and trust between an employee and employer. This can be achieved when employees are given meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and are recognized for their achievements.
Technology can be invaluable for organizations that want to enhance employee engagement. Businesses can support employees by optimizing operations and providing workers with the tools they need to achieve good health and wellness, such as virtual communication tools, wellness platforms, and health and fitness apps, resulting in a more productive, resilient, and engaged workforce.
Engaging Benefit Communication and Enrollment Processes
Benefits communication and enrollment are essential components of HR operations and directly impact employee retention, satisfaction, and engagement. However, when organizations fail to provide employees with adequate resources or effective communication regarding benefits, employees may find benefits information inaccessible, confusing, or overwhelming.
When approaching employees about benefits, it is important to segment the workforce and determine the unique preferences, needs, and expectations of workers. Businesses should also simplify their language to make benefits communication clear and easily understood. Finally, it is important that benefits communications occur throughout the year, not just during the open enrollment period.
Technology for Employee Education and Training
In a fast-paced digital world, technology has become a staple in employee benefits education and training. Digital tools offer organizations the opportunity to provide workers with personalized learning experiences tailored to individual employee needs.
Digital tools are also easily accessible, allowing employees to learn when and where they want to and at their own pace. Today, digital platforms host a variety of resources that can aid in employee education and training, such as virtual coaching sessions, webinars, and interactive modules.
Real-time monitoring and feedback allow employees to get answers to questions quickly and enable employers to measure employee engagement and outcomes more efficiently.
Best Practices for Employee Engagement in the Manufacturing Industry
How employees feel about the organization that they work for can be a major indicator of the business’s success. Engaged employees are often more productive, are willing to stay with an employer longer, and are more likely to refer other talent to the company.
In the manufacturing industry, consider these best practices for employee engagement:
- Measure engagement. Organizations that measure employee engagement levels are better equipped to identify strengths and address weaknesses.
- Build an engagement strategy. Every business should prioritize employee engagement. Regular communication, engagement surveys, regular feedback, and similar tactics can help build engagement in the workplace.
- Set clear expectations. When expectations are unclear from the start, employees may not understand what they are doing wrong and its impact on the business.
- Know what motivates workers. Having the right incentives can go a long way toward helping employees feel more engaged. Request feedback directly from workers about what they want.
- Review engagement processes. It is not enough to make changes once and never again. Continue to make improvements within the organization’s culture to continually improve engagement.
Tailoring Benefits Packages to Manufacturing Employees
Employees want to know that they are appreciated and that their employers are striving to meet their personal needs. Tailoring benefits packages to employee needs is a great way to show employees they are valuable assets.
As every organization is made up of diverse individuals, it is important to build flexible benefits plans that consist of various programs, such as health, lifestyle, and flexible spending accounts.
Communicating the Benefits of Packages to Manufacturing Employees
Most HR professionals invest considerable time and money each year in planning and executing a benefits strategy. Unfortunately, employee benefits are not always leveraged as HR professionals intend.
There are many ways that organizations can effectively communicate the benefits of packages, such as by educating workers during onboarding, asking managers to share important benefits information, and creating an ongoing conversation throughout the year regarding benefits options.
Employee Recognition and Rewards
Recognition and rewards are effective ways to keep employees engaged. Employees who work hard deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments or achievements among their peers and colleagues.
This recognition may be a hand-written “thank you” letter or a physical reward, such as company merchandise, gift cards, or fun experiences. Many employees also respond positively to monetary rewards, such as an unexpected bonus.
Reach Out to New City and Engage Your Employee Programs
Employee benefits are most valuable when engaged employees fully utilize them. When benefits are overlooked or not used to their full potential, employers and employees can be impacted by the repercussions.
The experienced benefits consultants at New City Insurance understand the importance of structuring a comprehensive employee benefits package that promotes engagement and employee retention. For more information about our services or to request a consultation, contact New City at 888.210.2765.