Building a safety culture has always been a priority for manufacturers, but the importance of protecting your frontline workforce has never been more imperative than it is right now.
It’s essential that companies recognize the interdependent relationship that exists between business continuity and safety. Implementing employee-centric safety procedures and real-time internal communications means manufacturing companies never have to choose between efficient operations and employee health and safety. In fact, there’s one potentially overlooked benefit to developing a safety culture that manufacturers have recently been able to capitalize on — driving better business continuity.
Focus on frontline employee health and safety
When safe working conditions are prioritized, your frontline manufacturing workforce feels secure and can focus on the tasks at hand without having to compensate for any safety gaps in the work environment. If working conditions are routinely unsafe, employees have to spend time finding workarounds to ensure their own safety, which makes their jobs harder to do. This directly affects performance, and productivity ultimately suffers.
Driving better business continuity begins with identifying and avoiding operational hazards that can adversely affect manufacturing production output, such as:
- Losing access to a facility due to inclement weather or damage
- Defective goods
- Poor communication (particularly between management and the frontline workers on the production line)
Embrace the new employee experience to promote business agility
Today’s manufacturing workforce is grappling with an unprecedented set of new challenges, both at work and in the home. This is especially true for frontline manufacturing workers. Recent studies indicate that mental health issues for workers are on the rise since the emergence of COVID-19.
In short, your frontline manufacturing workforce is currently under more stress, more financial pressure, and works under more dangerous conditions than they ever have before. To navigate this “new normal,” manufacturers must put people-first practices in place that cultivate a safe and engaged workforce while building trust and transparency within the organization. Doing so will improve employee experience and ultimately employee engagement.
Leverage new technology for a new employee experience
In 2021, companies going through digital transformation will bring employee tech up to par with production tech through mobile-first digital communication platforms. As machines become more and more connected, the manufacturing workforce will follow suit.
Communication and HR technology designed for the manufacturing workforce can assist organizations in creating a safety culture and improving productivity in many ways:
- Reach and connect with their entire workforce with important information such as changes to health and safety processes, company news, and real-time alerts
- Digitize critical documents for employees to access no matter if they’re on the floor or in the break room
- Automate workflows and business processes, saving time and money
- Optimize business practices based on meaningful data
Essential workers can easily access company resources, share best practices, and connect with their fellow employees like never before. Further, managers can resolve issues efficiently, train their teams in less time, and ensure consistent messaging when it matters most.
For example, IRP Meat and Seafood Co. uses the communication platform Beekeeper to:
- Communicate safety drills
- Coordinate staggered breaks due to COVID to maintain social distancing
- Educate their team members on how to properly wear masks
- Communicate government-mandated policies such as temperature checks
- Eliminate paper-based processes in favor of more streamlined, digital ones
Communication and collaboration essential in the new normal
Between keeping their frontline workforces safe, complying with ever-changing regulations, and maintaining business continuity within the context of the new employee experience, manufacturers will have several business challenges to tackle in the coming years. Fortunately, technologies like Beekeeper, a communication and collaboration platform for frontline workers, are helping manufacturers reach their frontline production workers and maximize their potential. By streamlining the flow of information from management to frontline factory workers, manufacturers can build a safer, more inclusive workplace for their employees.
This improved communication and collaboration can help manufacturers to greatly reduce operational friction, create a safety-first culture, and ultimately improve business continuity.
Learn how Beekeeper and UKG workforce management technology work together to connect, protect and empower your frontline manufacturing workforce.
About Beekeeper: Beekeeper is a mobile-first employee communication platform tailored to reach non-desk workers and unite them with the rest of the organization. We believe people should be happy at work and have all the tools they need to perform their jobs at the highest level. That’s why Beekeeper connects colleagues across locations and departments in real time to help companies improve internal communication and streamline operations. The Communication Solution for Your Entire Workforce.