You probably have seen this plastered across social media, a strong company culture attracts and retains top talent, keeps employees engaged, and creates a collaborative team environment, yet you find yourself like many manufacturers crunched for time, pressure, and cost. Your time, efforts, and money are spent on requirements to meet legal compliance. Yet according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers, 74% of executives identified attracting and retaining talent as their primary challenge1.
Studies have historically shown, employees leave leaders and toxic cultures. If we don’t invest in our leaders, they don’t have the skills and behaviors to create a strong company culture and it spreads across all aspects of your company, your business, your employees, and your customers. It affects how people and customers perceive you.
Manufacturers fall into one of these categories when it comes to company culture,
- Culture by Design: A strong company culture, created with intentionality. Your expectations are transparent, and you refer to them during hiring, recruitment, onboarding, and training. No one is guessing what your culture is. You model and reinforce it in every interaction.
- Culture by Default:
- Top leadership believes the company has a strong culture, yet the employees think otherwise because they don’t see consistent behaviors role modeled and reinforced across the culture. There is little to no transparency and lack of accountability.
- A toxic company culture throughout. Culture created by default results in inconsistent performance, low employee morale, and high turnover. Your employees are unengaged and unhappy from the moment they clock in.
Culture by design starts with Psychological Safety. Psychological Safety influences behavior, performance, and loyalty and is highly correlated to innovation and competitiveness. When an organization has psychological safety, employees 1) feel included and part of the team; 2) they recognize the opportunity and support for personal growth and development; 3) they feel motivated to contribute; and 4) they have confidence to challenge the status quo when something is not right.
Start today and put into practice these 4 behaviors to increase the psychological safety of your team:
- Inclusion Safety
- Ask more than you tell. When you ask questions, it’s an invitation to engage.
- Learner Safety
- Remove barriers to learning. Check the environment, noise level and lighting. Employees can clear their minds, reduce stress, and increase concentration.
- Contributor Safety
- Ask your team if they have the tools to do their jobs. Employees will see you care about their success, and they’ll be motivated to contribute.
- Challenger Safety
- Weigh in last. As a leader, you hold a position and others may be looking to you for answers. Allow and encourage your team to share their ideas first and celebrate their contributions.