Not enough is said about blue collar workers in the media today. While those in more prestigious industries are often written about, blue collar workers are the backbone of society and deserve more attention. If you oversee a staff of blue collar workers, here are some tips on how you can keep them happy, satisfied, and productive in their work.
Create A Managerial Staff That Cares
One of the biggest complaints amongst blue collar workers is that managers and superiors see them as nothing more than cogs in the machine. The simplest way to make your workers happier is by showing you care, and treating them like equals and individuals. Create a space where workers feel listened to and will be able to connect with management more personally. Make sure your different levels of employees interact often. When your employees feel appreciated, they’re more incentivized to work hard and will make the extra effort in.
Put Thought into Scheduling
Another common complaint of those in the blue collar workforce is that no thought is put into scheduling. Those who want to accumulate lots of hours and rack up overtime don’t get the time they want, and those who need a lighter schedule are often scheduled too much. If you put thought, time, and consideration into scheduling, your employees will be much happier. Be sure there is an open discourse about work hours and everyone knows what is expected.
Include workers in the decision-making process. Giving the workers some say in decisions has proven to increase worker productivity and motivation. Managers should seek feedback and suggestions for how to improve processes, ask employees for measurable objectives and just ways to improve the work environment. But the key is not just asking, but actually implementing employee suggestions. Often the people with the best ideas are those that have to work with the problem every day. Have an Open-Door Policy… One of the main reasons why employees end up striking or walking out is because they don’t feel like their voices are being heard. Strive to have an open-door policy in the workplace, where employees can easily access managers to air grievances or concerns. You might also install a way to anonymously listen to written complaints.
No, you don’t have to turn your company into Google and put a pool table in the work room. However, little luxuries can do wonders for company morale. For example, EpicVue recommends installing Satellite TV in semi-trucks to make your drivers’ treks a whole lot more pleasant. For stationary blue collar workers, you could provide lunch, have company picnics, or even just provide free coffee and donuts in the break room.
Close for Holidays Whenever Possible
Being required to work on major holidays is a major reason why many blue-collar employees resent their job and their employer. Sometimes closing on a holiday isn’t possible. However, when it is, it’s imperative you do so. These days off are incredibly meaningful to your staff and their families.
Employees who do a stellar job want to feel like their efforts were worthwhile. This is why it’s essential that companies strive to promote from within. When employees know they have the opportunity to move up, they’re all the more likely to do a great job.
If you follow these tips, you’ll keep your blue-collar workforce happy and reduce turnover within your company.