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Combating the Labor Crisis with More Engaged Workers

Though a manufacturing labor crisis has been on the horizon for some time, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent mass employment shift greatly accelerated the effects. The exodus of the Baby Boomer generation from manufacturing jobs, combined with the abundance of jobs available to subsequent generations given the rise of the gig economy, has led us to the current labor crisis, leaving plant managers and leaders scrambling to find the best answers to rectify these issues.

Our mission has always been to transform manufacturing by unlocking the everyday productivity potential of every frontline worker, making them active contributors to and beneficiaries of their company’s success – not just a cog in the machine. To measure the impact of our Connected Workforce Solution, we initiated our first Frontline Workforce Engagement Study, released today, quantifying the employee engagement increases at 50 U.S. manufacturing plants where Redzone technology is deployed. What we found reinforces the business benefits of treating frontline employees with dignity, giving them purpose, recognition and the opportunity for career growth.

After completing Redzone’s 90-day onboarding process, plants reported an overall 74% increase across the five engagement factors we identified:

  • Ownership of performance (+112%): Frontline workers strongly desire empowerment to own the results of their production line, including understanding what “winning” means for their company, focusing on improving processes, and hearing real-time feedback.
  • Autonomous problem solving (+50%): A significantly larger portion of workers are becoming involved in both simple and complex problem solving rather than waiting for management requests for corrective actions.
  • Connection to others (+71%): Plants with a digital connected workforce solution experience constant internal communications about plans, problems and priorities regardless of their title as physical, language and organizational barriers are eliminated.
  • Cross-team collaboration (+81%): Workers now have the data, time or skills to connect with other teams on the floor to increase communication and problem solve together.
  • Feeling competent and recognized (+73%): Employees feel better supported by their companies. Their skills are noticed by both peers and leadership, leading to regular recognition, mastering new skills and well-deserved promotions.

The business impact of this increased engagement? Reduced employee turnover and increased team productivity.

What frontline manufacturing employees are looking for is no different than any other industries: they want to have dignity in their work, recognition for a job well done, opportunity for growth and, most importantly, the desire to work toward a higher purpose. A more productive workforce churns out more end product, which means fewer supply chain interruptions and, ultimately, more products on shelves and less inflation impacting all of us.

To download our full report, you can click here.

As a founding member of Redzone Production Systems, Richard serves as CEO and is responsible for the continued growth of the Redzone Community, the Redzone teams and the company culture that enables the remarkable productivity results that Redzone is known for.

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