Empowering Employment through a Strong Workplace Culture

Today’s job-seekers want more than a pay cheque — they demand a workplace culture that provides long-term benefit to their careers. By understanding and meeting these requirements, manufacturers can make their organizations desirable, and stoke continuous engagement.

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Recently, EMC hosted Maxine Labbe, Business Consultant at Montana HR, for a discussion on the importance of strong workplace cultures with several manufacturers in Atlantic Canada. During this discussion, Maxine described the value of performing regular cultural assessments of one’s business to maintain a firm contextual awareness and identify employee retention opportunities. To further examine the employment benefits of a timely workplace culture, Daniel Goulet, General Manager at EMC member Systemair, presented his organization’s experience with using a cultural assessment alongside Maxine. The material presented in this article is based on this event. With ACOA’s support, EMC continues to provide invaluable leadership resources to manufacturers in Atlantic Canada through the Manufacturing Recovery Support Program.

In today’s employment landscape, job-seekers are only interested in positions that provide them with a tangible benefit to their career. Disposable, low-pay roles have become obsolete — modern workers want secure, sustainable employment that can increase their sense of worth in addition to fair compensation. Meeting job-seekers’ expectations can be difficult for manufacturers who haven’t kept up with timely employment trends, but moving past long-held employment practices and embracing change is critical to attracting modern workers. By stoking a culture of progress, ambition, and mutual success in their workplaces, manufacturers can appeal to today’s workers, keep them onboard, and secure their engagement and motivation.

Understanding your workplace’s existing culture is necessary to advancing it. Consider the wants and needs of your current workers. Consider the new kind of worker that you’re looking to attract. How are the expectations of each of these groups being met? Do you have a strong grasp of your existing and potential employees’ values and demands? Remember that modern manufacturing workers are opinionated, informed, and well-connected with their peers; if they feel in any way underserved, they won’t be interested in your business, regardless of how successful it is. To overcome ambiguities in your workplace’s culture, perform a cultural assessment — a detailed analysis of your labour bases’ satisfaction with their jobs. Having this information will allow you to make accurate improvements to your company’s culture, and will demonstrate to job-seekers both your timeliness and your willingness to improve. Hold cultural assessments at your organization regularly to prevent your culture from falling behind, and you’ll easily build an innovative reputation with modern job-seekers.

Keep in mind that effective employment isn’t just limited to recruitment. Once employed, workers must stay passionate and engaged to meet their potential and maintain productivity. When performing your regular cultural assessments, aim to gain an understanding of your employees as individuals instead of a collective. As we’ve discussed before, offering personalized benefits to employees makes them feel valued beyond their technical abilities, and provides them with an incentive to remain loyal to your organization. Trust is tantamount to a worker’s motivation — they must feel as though decisions are being made in their best interests by employers. Stay aligned with these values by promoting changes that affect your workers directly: fair compensation, stable job security, effective safety measures, and equitable treatment. Employees (especially new employees) that are able to experience these benefits firsthand will see the value in working at your business, and will become invested in your organization’s success.

Meeting the demands and expectations of modern workers is one of the strongest competitive advantages an organization can have. Employees from any background and in any department or industry will always see the value of an employer that takes a genuine interest in their individual progress, and will understand how the success of their business is interwoven with their own personal achievement. Make the effort to communicate, analyze, and recognize your employees regularly, and you’ll find that your workplace’s culture is conducive to long-term engagement and productivity.

For more on strengthening recruitment and retention through a beneficial workplace culture, contact Joan Richard, EMC’s Operations Manager for Eastern Canada. Attend EMC events frequently for specialized manufacturing expertise.

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