In factories, production is the number one priority, so it isn’t a surprise that internal communication is not on the radar of most manufacturers. However, a recent survey by Forrester
found that 75 percent of manufacturing delays occur because employees are unable to communicate with co-workers or their supervisors. Even more, the survey found 69 percent of respondents said their company’s efficiency would be improved if communication delays were addressed. With those kind of production gains out there for the taking, here are some ways you can improve internal communication on the factory floor.
Use Delay-Proof Modes of Communication
When things go wrong, employees and managers need dependable modes of communication to quickly solve problems. Face-to-face communication isn’t always possible, email service can go out, and call trees are now a relic of the past. With mobile communication, you can better ensure your workers and managers can communicate with the necessary personnel. Features like mobile notifications and group messaging enable manufacturers to keep everyone in the loop when it is needed the most. In in the rare event a mobile network fails, employees can download essential troubleshooting documents to their phone so they always know what the next step is.
Better Training Equals Better Communication
Better training doesn’t have to mean more training. Time is of the essence on any factory floor and spending weeks training workers isn’t always feasible. One way to drastically improve the onboarding process at your factory is to assign every new hire with a training buddy to show them the ropes. Training buddies can also fill the gaps in traditional training protocols. This form of training can also decrease turnover because new employees are immediately immersed into your factory’s culture.
Get Feedback From the Floor
The workers in a factory know when something goes bad before anyone else. They know the machinery that is acting up, and where the slack is in production. The collective wisdom of your workers is more than any one production manager. Get the most out of your workers focusing relentlessly on getting feedback from them. Whether it’s running monthly open-floor meetings, conducting surveys, or incentivizing employees to speak up with contests or bonuses, managers have an obligation to know what the important issues are from those who know best. There’s no doubt that engineering, operations, and logistics are vital to any efficient manufacturer. But communication also contributes significantly to the bottom line of a factory. Poor communication can lead to delayed orders, accidents, and employee turnover. If any of these things affects your organization, improved internal communication might be the key to getting things running smoothly again.
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