A manufacturing workplace is normally an industrial environment and far different than working in an office. Many manufacturing workplaces operate on an assembly schedule and have to meet set production goals, leaving workers focused on meeting demand. Because manufacturing environments are so production and goal oriented, they tend not to be the most upbeat of places. Even production-driven manufacturing workplaces can become a bit more enjoyable for those working within them, however.
The Manufacturing Workplace
Manufacturing makes use of machines, tools and human labor to make products for use by others. The manufacturing process itself typically involves a combination of automated machine-enabled activities and human labor. Because manufacturing activities produce things, most factory workers must meet production goals that usually create an assembly-line outlook. Keeping safety practices in mind and making the workplace more fun must be top priorities.
Consistently Make Workers' Lives Easier
Many studies have shown a direct link between worker happiness and worker productivity. According to the New York Times, happy workers are more productive. Creating a fun or happy working environment requires commitment from the highest levels of management down to the production or assembly line supervisor. You can make a manufacturing environment more fun by making workers' lives easier. For example, your company can host personal and fitness training centers or even provide on-site car washes, haircuts and other services.
Givng Meaning to Employees' Labor
There's nothing more exhausting for a manufacturing or production worker than lacking a sense of pride in the job. If your employees think their work has meaning, they usually have greater levels of excitement about their jobs. You can make manufacturing workplaces more fun by consistently removing workers' obstacles to their tasks, providing them help when needed and never failing to recognize their accomplishments. Workplaces also can become more fun when leaders address workers' daily hassles and eliminate technical problems.
Instill Servant Leadership Principles
Southwest Airlines outperforms its rivals for several reasons. One is that it believes in servant leadership, a theory developed by Robert K. Greenleaf, a businessman who studied management. Servant leadership requires that the focus be more on followers, or employees, than on leaders or managers. A servant-leader always tries to serve others' highest needs first. You can make the manufacturing workplace more fun by putting your employees first. This benefits the company as well, because workers then tend to put their production requirements first.
Three Key Factors to Employee Happiness
The Entrepreneur.com website identifies three secrets to keeping employees happy and making their workplaces more fun. Manufacturing or production environment employees must have supervisors that care about more than just raw production numbers. Supervisors must consistently engage with employees on a face-to-face basis. A fun manufacturing workplace is one where managers regularly give sincere and specific praise and feedback when warranted. Finally, a supportive and fair workplace culture, where clear expectations and rules for all exist, frequently creates the happiest workers.
Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.