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Enhancing employee engagement: a critical strategy for improving manufacturing efficiency

Mark McDermott, CEO, ScreenCloud


The manufacturing sector grapples with several significant obstacles, including worrying employee turnover rates, communication issues, and diminished employee engagement levels. Recent data reveals that the average turnover rate in the manufacturing industry reaches an alarming 31% annually. Moreover, a mere 39% of frontline employees believe their employers value their input, and only 25% of workers in the manufacturing sector report high levels of engagement. This figure is notably below the general average, where over a third of employees feel highly engaged.

Addressing these issues is crucial for enhancing productivity within the sector, according to digital signage company ScreenCloud. The organisation has emphasised the undeniable advantages of fostering a highly engaged workforce. Studies indicate that employees who feel acknowledged at their workplace are 63% less likely to look for new job opportunities within the next 3-6 months. However, a significant gap exists in empowering employees to make decisions; only 24% of companies grant this autonomy to their frontline staff.

Organisations that boast a highly engaged workforce face an 87% lower risk of employee turnover. Additionally, 60% of workers in the manufacturing sector feel that their employers could enhance their focus on fostering a strong company culture and improving top-down communication. Although effectively communicating with sizable employee groups presents its challenges, the advantages of tackling these issues are evident. An impressive 92% of employers report improvements in work quality and productivity when frontline employees are provided with more insights derived from data.

In fact, a significant factor contributing to the challenge of employee engagement in the manufacturing sector is the disconnect between employers and their workers. Eight out of ten workers in deskless industries feel that their in-office counterparts receive more opportunities, largely due to better access to workplace communication tools and digital information. This disparity underscores a crucial insight: for workers to truly engage with their employer, they must feel reached out to and valued. Investment in their inclusion and communication is essential to bridge this gap and foster a more connected, engaged workforce.

Mark McDermott, CEO & co-founder of ScreenCloud, says, “Creating a culture that recognises great work and individual contributions helps manufacturers to retain talent and improve overall efficiency.

“While many areas can contribute to creating this culture, harnessing the power of digital signage can be an incredibly effective tool to utilise – and one which is often overlooked. With the right digital signage strategy, employee engagement can be increased through better recognition of great work. In addition, it can aid with enhancing safety compliance, meaning manufacturers can significantly increase productivity while prioritising the well-being of their workforce.”

In addition to improved turnover rates, businesses with highly engaged employees also experience a 70% reduction in safety incidents. The manufacturing sector is notably impacted by a higher rate of workplace injuries and fatalities relative to its workforce size. Specifically, manufacturing is responsible for 5% of all workplace injuries and 8% of all fatalities in the US. In the UK, the manufacturing sector sees 54,000 workers suffer non-fatal injuries each year. A significant factor contributing to these statistics is the insufficient communication of workplace hazards. In the United States, inadequate hazard communication is identified as the second leading cause of safety incidents at work, with nearly 2,500 citations issued for poor hazard communication in 2022 alone.

A significant 86% of employers recognise that superior technology empowers employees to make more decisions independently. Digital signage serves as a versatile tool for disseminating emergency alerts, offering training advice, sending reminder notifications for safety gear, and sharing real-time data and analytics about the workplace. Employing digital displays to enhance adherence to safety protocols enables manufacturing companies to keep their workforce well-informed about operational procedures, thereby reducing the likelihood of regulatory non-compliance. In certain cases, the adoption of digital signage has led to a notable 20% decrease in compensation claims.

“While digital signage isn’t the silver bullet for solving the manufacturing productivity puzzle,” adds McDermott, “it is a simple and strategic implementation that can have a huge impact on some of the key challenges that impact productivity within the sector.”


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