In a factory, production should be the number one priority, but this does sometimes mean that internal communication on the production floor is sometimes overlooked. This is a problem. A huge number of delays occur because employees are unable to communicate effectively with each other or their managers. Better communication increases productivity. Here are some of the simplest ways to improve production floor communication.
- Use real-time modes of communication. When something goes wrong, employees and managers need a way to communicate to solve problems quickly. Face-to-face communication isn’t always possible, email isn’t always timely, and call trees are outdated. Make use of mobile technology like communication apps to help people communicate with the co-workers they need to. Use an app designed for communication with staff, with features like mobile notifications, group and one-on-one messaging, news streams, safety campaigns, and FAQs.
- Get insight from the floor. The workers on the production floor know first when something goes wrong. They know when machinery isn’t working correctly when production has slowed down, and when it’s time to batch order your bill of materials. Make the most of all this information by concentrating on getting feedback from your employees on the floor. You could run monthly open-floor meetings, taking surveys, or encouraging feedback through contests or bonuses. This means you should always know about important issues.
- Provide better training. Better training doesn’t mean more training. Time is always important on the production floor, so spending weeks training your workers isn’t away a feasible option. One way of improving the onboarding process and production floor communication is to make sure every new hire has a training buddy to show them the ropes. A training buddy is better able to fill in the gaps of traditional training and decrease turnover because new employees are immediately immersed into your factory’s culture.
- Keep employees in the know. If you’re distributing information through one-way communication methods like a newsletter or a bulletin board, some employees are probably missing out. Employees need real-time, essential company information to help them to become better equipped to do their jobs and engage with their team members. Mobile-first communication with the front lines in mind is an easy way to make sure everyone that they have the information they need when they need it.
- Make time for feedback. Because of the nature of most factory floor schedules, feedback backdrop down the list of priorities. Feedback is usually given when a manager and an employee are in the same place, but with distributed workforces, feedback schedules need to be replaced with more modern solutions. Give your employees more frequent feedback so they always know what they ought to keep doing and what actions to take. It can also boost morale and productivity. Make sure you also allow feedback to go both ways, so employees can offer you feedback too to help you improve working conditions.
Communication is the key to a successful workplace, so make it one of your main priorities.