Company culture—whether orchestrated or not, every company has its own. A strong culture appreciates and empowers employees, extending way beyond the occasional “pizza party” day or annual recognition program. All the large and small layers that define a company’s culture can add up to attracting and retaining employees.
Corporate culture has gained momentum in recent years as manufacturing companies continue to search not only for positive branding strategies but also for ways to appeal to a young generation of employees who may not be aware of all that a career in manufacturing can offer.
Training and education are key elements of company culture. It is an area that NFI Corp. acknowledges as a priority since now is the time to attract the next generation of engaged, committed, and talented employees. So, we’ve introduced a program specifically geared toward high school graduates in search of not just a job but a career where they can learn and grow, have fun, be creative … and leave work each day feeling accomplished and valued.
Offer Career Training to High School Students
“Corridor to College” is a focused-future program that lets high school graduates choose from among three corridors; the three paths to a future in our industry are Engineering/Design, Production Management, and Business Management. In a nutshell, this unique cutting-edge program provides on-the-job training and educational opportunities.
This program is one piece of the company culture puzzle that truly fits! By being presented with a number of potential career modules, high school graduates can experience various aspects of a manufacturing business. It allows them to understand why and how decisions they make affect their peers and customers.
We look at this program as a rare opportunity for people starting on their career path to work in several different capacities within our company, giving them a chance to identify and select their most fulfilling employment “corridor.”
The message we are delivering to young people beginning their careers and educational path is that there is more going on behind the scenes in manufacturing companies than they realize. We want to make them aware of marketing and sales opportunities and how the latest business-to-business strategies and use of technology attract new customers. We also want our next generation of workers to watch our designers and engineers create innovative projects and to see firsthand exactly how the production staff works its magic.
A program like “Corridor to College” is a meaningful measure manufacturing firms can take to attract new workers, but it’s not the only one.
Create a Safe Working Environment
Creating a culture where employee safety is the priority adds to the good reputation of a manufacturing firm. Promoting safety should be a common goal. A buddy system is one way to generate accountability; this approach safeguards individuals and also the workforce as a group. A work environment where people are looking out for one another’s safety fosters a genuine sense of well-being.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of other companies’ best safety practices. One way to keep an eye on what other firms are doing is by creating a collaborative safety group within your industry or similar trade. Invite other company representatives to share their ideas and practices, particularly those companies with a high employee retention profile!
Highlight Your Culture on Your Careers Page
In today’s competitive marketplace, recruiting via online sites has become standard. It’s critical for a manufacturing company’s website to include detailed information about specific job openings and should also include material that underscores the company’s sense of culture and values.
The importance of a thorough job description can’t be overstated. Here is the chance to state the job’s responsibilities, the skills required, and the benefits of working with your company. Those advantages might include advancement opportunities or the chance to work with high-technology equipment—the idea is to attract candidates who will be excited about the role they will play within your business.
Although typically established by management, the real test and value of workplace culture is how it’s carried out in the office and on the manufacturing floor. Regardless of whether they are Millennials, Gen Xers, or Baby Boomers, people in general want to work within a culture that is employee friendly and where they feel their contributions are validated and are making a positive impact. If a culture that promotes education, training, safety, and opportunities for advancement is created, the word will get out!
|Marcia LaBelle is Vice President at NFI Corp.|