Improving Diversity & Inclusion in Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies have not shown as much progress in diversity and inclusion as many other industries. This means that most manufacturing organizations are behind other sectors in their progress with these issues. Fortunately, the mindset of manufacturing company leaders includes the ability to systematically solve problems. As a result, leadership can apply their skills to solve this business challenge.

Find out why diversity and inclusion are important and how you can make both more visible throughout your manufacturing company.

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion

The performance of a manufacturing company increases with the diversity and inclusivity of its workforce. For instance, creative solutions and applications develop from the ideas shared and developed among the teams. The fresh perspectives promote innovation that helps the business face disruptive challenges and find opportunities in new areas. Also, a diverse and inclusive business is better equipped to promote job satisfaction, decision-making, and customer orientation. This helps attract and retain top talent and increases the bottom line.

Attracting More Women, Minorities, and Millennials

Manufacturing companies need to attract more women, minorities, and Millennials to the workforce. This requires a shift in attitude and a remake of the company culture to make it more diversified and inclusive.

For instance, employers can provide more flexibility to allow for handling personal and professional responsibilities during the workday. Allowing employees to set their own schedules and/or work remotely at least one day per week helps improve work-life integration. This provides additional support for working parents with childcare needs and other professionals who want more control over their time.

Also, employers can provide executive counsels and mentoring programs to promote career advancement within their organizations. This encourages women, minorities, and Millennials to explore professional paths within the manufacturing industry.

Using Data to Measure Progress

Manufacturing companies excel at gathering, analyzing, and leveraging data to fill business needs. This is why regular employee pulse surveys, performance reviews, and exit interviews should be used to determine the progress of an organization’s diversity and inclusion objectives.

The results of each survey represent a baseline for where the organization should focus its change initiatives and a means to measure the success of future change. Leaders also can use the findings to make key decisions based on the data they have and view the process as a means for continuous improvement.

Hiring and Promoting Future Leaders

Partner with universities to create apprenticeship and internship programs to build a diverse entry-level talent pool. As you are able to hire and train these future employees, you can equip them for promotions within the organization.

Another option is to hire employees from different industries. Sales, quality assurance, finance, strategy, purchasing/supply chain, legal, HR, information systems, and program management are top examples. Many employees in these sectors have the transferrable skills needed to start a career in manufacturing.

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