How to Motivate Production Workers

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Production Workers
Production Workers (Image: CC license Courtesy of Flickr user jurvetson)

Creating a high level of employee motivation in a production environment offers several advantages. It increases the quantity of goods being produced, minimizes down time and reduces the frequency of quality control issues. Motivated workers tend to display fewer disciplinary problems. They are more likely to stay with a company over the long term. This reduces the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees. Here are several ways to motivate production workers that go beyond providing higher hourly wages and better health benefits.

Create an atmosphere of positive encouragement. Train managers and supervisors to use verbal and written praise to recognize superior individual performance.

Use incentives such as gift cards or catered meals to reward teams that follow best practices and display initiative in problem solving. You can also tie bonuses to production quotas, but this should not come at the cost of safety or other important considerations.

Support workers by giving them the necessary tools and training to do their jobs well. This minimizes frustration and makes employees feel that their work has value to the company.

Provide frequent opportunities for workers to learn new skills. This boosts employee motivation by helping people stay engaged with their jobs. Don't reserve training just for exceptional individuals. Instead, make ongoing learning a part of your overall corporate culture.

Fully explain the needs of your production schedule to your workforce. Then allow them some autonomy in the form of flexible scheduling whenever possible. This gives employees a chance to develop good work/life balance. Monitor productivity closely so you can make adjustments to keep things running smoothly.

Offer workers the opportunity to affect processes within the company. When people feel they are being listened to and valued, they become more connected with their work. Set up an email helpdesk to respond to employee's comments and suggestions. This is a low-cost way to tap into the true creative potential of your workforce.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cooperation between executives, management, and Human Resources is absolutely crucial to achieving employee motivation. If the leaders of your company can't demonstrate good teamwork, they won't be able to inspire the right attitude in others.
  • Research and plan carefully before you implement a safety incentive program. Some of these programs encourage workers to hide or under report injuries. You don't want to get in trouble with OSHA.

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