Our clients span many industries in manufacturing and distribution operations: aerospace, automotive, steel, food, dairy, clothing, and pharmaceutical to name a few. The trends we see in employee concerns and their reasons for dissatisfaction at work center more on aspects of workplace culture than on hard tangible items such as pay or benefits.
Many times those nuances are not apparent in the initial survey data. For example, in a recent client survey, less than 50% of employees indicated that they were satisfied with their pay, even though the company’s compensation philosophy was to pay in the top 15% for the area and the industry. However, the survey results showed that an even lower number of employees were satisfied with how their pay was determined. Follow-up focus group sessions revealed that the performance review process was generally a negative experience that did not manage expectations effectively. Employees felt that they were not recognized for their accomplishments. Reviews were only completed once per year and the process did not include skill level assessments or improvement planning. The employees perceived that very little value was actually placed on helping employees learn and advance along a specific career path. They felt frustrated, disrespected and devalued as a result.
Whether your facility is unionized or not, this is an area of great opportunity to engage your employees, create a more respectful workplace environment, develop leadership and team building skills in your supervisors, and positively effect the productivity and efficiency of your operation. However, this area of People Management can be complex, with a lot of interdependent variables, and is not something that can be accomplished over night.
The MPI Consulting team has 42 years of experience helping clients get this strategy and its implementation right.