Motivating your Production Line

August 30th, 2021

How can you keep your production line workers safe and happy while also making sure they maximize productivity during every hour on the job? A few simple moves can help you keep things running at top speed without increasing the risk of injuries, mistakes, or turnover.

keep these in mind as you look for ways to optimize your performance as a manager or supervisor.

Praise and Reward

Praise and reward the employees who you hope to position as role models in the eyes of others. Never underestimate the power of peer influence, and respect the fact that as much as your employees want to impress you and stay in your good graces, most of them (like all of us) pursue the good graces of their peers even more. If you have someone on your team who’s always in a good mood, who shrugs off minor hassles like boredom, repetition, or mild discomfort, who’s kind to others and lends a hand when needed, who’s encouraging, who’s indefatigable, friendly, energetic, and simply makes “work” feel fun and purposeful, make sure that person recognizes her enormous contributions to the company.

Establish Meaningful Incentives

It might seem economical, from the company’s perspective, to offer cheap, easy incentives for performance like half-price coupons at a local ice cream shop or five minutes added to a ten-minute break. But most of your employees are adults with complex and demanding lives, and as much as they might like half-price ice cream treats, they value two things above all others: Real time, and real money. Provide meaningful bonuses and raises that can help them pay their bills, and provide meaningful time off, which means full days of no-strings-attached PTO.

Allow Small Concessions

If your employees would like a new couch in the break room, control over the radio that plays while they work the line, or some other small thing that costs you very little but helps them relax and focus as they work, don’t resist. Even a show of mild resistance can send the wrong message. Don’t let your employees get the idea that your feel entitled to things they own, including their time, money, comfort, or attention. Negotiating too hard, or haggling over small concessions, can imply that you and your

employees are adversaries, both of you in the game to gain as much as possible at the expense of the other. This is not a winning proposition for the company in the long run; employees can always find other jobs, but you can’t easily replace high performing employees.

For more on how to frame your employee relationships and shape your company culture to maximize productivity, talk to the experts at PSU.

Answering Questions During Your Manufacturing Interview

August 15th, 2021

You’re about to step into your first interview for a manufacturing job, and you’re ready to start strong and make a great impression! You have a clean and appropriate outfit ready to go, you’re going to show up on time, and you’re going to make eye contact and project a can-do attitude. While you prepare to give yourself every advantage, add another to the list by anticipating the kinds of questions you’ll be asked and having some answers in mind.

Here are a few questions you’re likely to face. Be ready!

Tell me about yourself.

When you hear this question, answer by telling your life story, but with some very large edits. Turn the entire story into three sentences, and take out every detail except the parts that brought you here to this interview on this day. Explain that you were born, then something happened, and because of that event, you decided to interview for this job. Skip the rest.

Why do you want a manufacturing job like this one?

Answer this question with an honest explanation of what you hope to get out of this role over the long term. Do you have a personal connection the product made here? Do you have a background or any experience with this specific type of production? If you chose this job simply because you respect the company and it’s close to where you live, it’s okay to just say that.

Why do you want a job that involves hard work?

Physically demanding or mentally taxing jobs that come with odd hours, discomfort, and a higher level of sacrifice are not for everyone. Your interviewer will likely ask why you think this type of environment will work for you, and how you plan to deal with these demands. Again, be honest. If you don’t mind spending long hours on your feet, or you truly enjoy the stimulation of working with your hands and staying in motion, say so.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

There are two answers that employers want to hear when they ask this question: They want to hear that the interviewee plans to stay right here with this company, OR they want to hear from a generally

bright, focused, ambitious person with long term goals outside of this place, goals that will require her to work hard here and make a great impression before moving on. Let your interviewer know that in five years, you plan to be right here within these walls. OR let them know that you’re using this job to get somewhere else. You’re putting yourself through school, you’d like to work your way into a supervisor role, or you’d like hands on experience with the company’s technology so you can leverage those skills later on. Just don’t shrug and act as though your future doesn’t concern you.

For more on how to impress your interviewer and land the job you’re looking for, talk to the staffing pros at PSU.

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