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Your Guide to Internal Communications and Employee Engagement

Internal Communication Builds Culture in the Manufacturing Industry

Internal Communication Builds Culture in the Manufacturing Industry
Alexandra Zamolo
Alexandra Zamolo, Head of Content Marketing
5 min read

The industrial revolution completely changed the way the world works, and the manufacturing industry quickly became the foundation of the global economy. Now, manufacturing companies are due for a cultural revolution, starting with internal communications.

Manufacturing labor makes up 14% of the world’s workforce. The manufacturing industry has a long history and a deep-rooted culture, which is defined by the values, policies, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the work environment. Internal communication is how leaders craft company culture and messaging to their teams, an internal brand marketing that builds workforce trust and loyalty. A digital workplace, like Beekeeper, can improve communication and strengthen the culture in your manufacturing company.

The Link Between Manufacturing Communication and Company Culture

Internal communication dissolves the invisible barrier between management and employees, and creates a more transparent workplace. When a company shares information (for example, objectives, achievements, and results) it builds a culture of trust and loyalty, which is important in a manufacturing environment where communication has traditionally been inconsistent between management and workers.

At MANN+HUMMEL, a global leader in the filtration field, using Beekeeper has improved their culture with new avenues of messaging to build relationships among their ranks.

“We use Beekeeper to send surveys and campaigns to specific target groups to be able to facilitate workforce interaction and engagement, increase employee feedback, and strengthen workplace culture.”

–Svetlana Becker, MANN+HUMMEL’s Digital Employee Communications Manager

Building a digital workplace can improve your culture by:

  1. Instilling inclusivity as a value by including all employees in communication.
  2. Streamlining messaging, such as policies and safety information.
  3. Motivating your workforce and boosting productivity.
  4. Fostering collaboration and teamwork.

Communicating For Workforce Inclusion

Manufacturing workers are often left out of communications since the majority don’t have a company email address. Messages are often posted on bulletin boards and go unseen. For Seaboard Foods, one of the top ten pork producers in the United States, these methods were ineffective. They have 5,000 employees in six states, and five different languages are spoken in their workforce. To unify their team and build that communication bridge to all of their employees, they transitioned to Beekeeper’s internal communications platform for manufacturing companies. Every employee now receives messages in their preferred language directly to their device. It’s created a culture of inclusion throughout their team.

“We struggled with communication before Beekeeper. And now we have the perfect tool that allows us to communicate across the board to all of our employees.”

–Jennie Watkins, Seaboard Foods’ Training Manager

Streamline Manufacturing Industry Safety Communications

A manufacturing company establishes a culture that prioritizes safety by streamlining internal communication regarding policies and regulations. Using automated alerts or group messaging, all employees can stay up to date on the latest safety standards. With a platform like Beekeeper, a manufacturing company promotes a cohesive value system across the workforce, which can prevent injuries, and fatalities.

A two-way communication portal, like Beekeeper’s chatbot, allows workers to quickly report unsafe conditions, broken machinery, accidents, and near accidents, so management can track them. A digital workplace congregates all safety information (think: no more paper incident reports), and allows the company to easily access and review reports to improve safety protocol.

Employee Engagement and Motivation Through Communication

Manufacturing companies are driven by target numbers and deadlines. This pressure on productivity falls primarily on workers who can often feel like they’re just punching a clock. According to a Gallup poll, only 33% of workers feel engaged. In the manufacturing industry, that number sinks to 25%. Low morale equates to low engagement which has a negative effect on productivity and quality. Fortunately, there are new and improved ways to manage time tracking and measure productivity.

By providing every employee with access to an internal communication system, workers feel appreciated, and acknowledged as individuals, an important cultural shift in a field where production line workers often feel lumped together. From personal messages recognizing individual achievements to group messages of encouragement, management can increase ambition and engagement in the workforce. Engaged workers take more pride in their jobs which results in higher quality work. Simply by investing 10% more in engagement, each employee generates $2,400 more in annual profits, a great benefit of a strong culture.

Better Internal Communication Facilitates Teamwork

Factory workers might have a specific function on the production floor, but each role relies on the others to complete the job. Workers in an auto factory build different parts of a vehicle, but they’re all working towards the same goal. But it can be difficult for employees to see the bigger picture when they’re focused on their specific job.

A digital workplace fosters collaboration in a manufacturing company. Even giving employees an administrative communication task, like the ability to swap shifts directly with their peers through a mobile employee app, ignites a dialogue between workers outside the break room. This communication lays the groundwork for further collaboration on the factory floor. A unified team looks out for one another, which is important in an environment where safety is a priority. By creating empathy and understanding for colleagues, internal communication builds a cohesive team culture.

When you convert to a digital workplace, cultural shifts will happen naturally within your manufacturing company. Employee engagement will rise, productivity will improve, and workers will feel like part of a team. It will be the cultural revolution your workplace has been waiting for.

To learn how to improve the culture and communication in your manufacturing company, download the Seaboard Foods case study.