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Manufacturing worker

Guide to Manufacturing Communications in 2024

Manufacturing worker

May 9, 2024 Posted by in Other

Work faster, safer, smarter: Communication Options for Manufacturers

Communicating effectively with your workforce is a challenge in any industry, but frontline workers in manufacturing can be especially hard to reach. And that lack of communication can be costly: recent research reveals that 75% of manufacturing delays occur because employees are unable to communicate with co-workers or their supervisors.

Ensuring you have good two-way communications will help your manufacturing business run more smoothly, boost productivity, and ensure employees safer and more engaged.

RedFlag’s award-winning notification system helps you send alerts to keep impacted employees up to date as everyday issues arise, such as maintenance issues, work interruptions, policy changes, closures, and more. In a crisis, these alerts can help you rapidly inform people of critical situations, identify who needs help, and provide timely instructions and updates.

To help you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in real-time, RedFlag’s Two-Way Chat lets you engage in multiple one-to-one conversations via text messaging to:

  • Immediately connect with people during a crisis
  • Send messages only to individuals who need to receive them
  • Receive direct on-the-ground feedback

Challenges to Manufacturing Communication

Deskless workers don’t usually have access to computers, but most of your manufacturing workers do have a smartphone. Production floor communication through a mobile app that all your employees can download on their own devices gives them access to important, up-to-the-minute relevant company information.

Safety concerns: Manufacturing employees need to know your safe workplace practices and what action to take if something goes wrong. Production communication tools that can SMS quickly are vital to let your employees know about any hazards – from problems with machinery to any threats to their safety. Slow responses can lead to injuries and lost productivity.

Updating workers with outdated tech: Many manufacturing companies deliver comms to their employees through public-access computer kiosks or terminals on the factory floor. But employees can only connect with kiosks one-by-one, when on-site and away from their workstations. Modern tech like SMS manufacturing comms are essential for transmitting instant, critical messages or updated rosters to your deskless employees.

Saving time in an emergency: Two-way communication is vital for manufacturing companies to be able to send out instant, mass communications to everyone – and ensure they’ve received them.

Communicating with factories and plants all over the world? Your employees might be in different time zones, countries, or continents, or they might even speak different languages. You can easily send location-based alerts using RedFlag’s notification system to send relevant, hyper-targeted messages based on your workforce’s real-time GPS location.

 Communicating with Cell Phone Bans in the Workplace

Cell phone bans in the workplace are legal and more common among blue-collar jobs, but some manufacturers might see them as a safety risk. While cell phones can be a distraction, they could also save lives.

In the aftermath of a devastating tornado that tore through an Amazon warehouse in Illinois in 2021 – killing six employees – Amazon reviewed its policy on mobile phone bans during working hours. Workers at an Amazon warehouse that was close by said the tornado deaths underscored the need to access cell phones during emergencies – to obtain information about potentially deadly storms and to help guide rescuers to where people might be trapped. Also, after a mass shooting at a FedEx center in Indianapolis in 2021, the company faced tough questions about its bans on cell phones. Having a cell phone handy means you’re able to receive alerts to  take cover, and relay crucial information about an active shooter’s location to authorities – as well as your co-workers.

Allowing your employees to access their cell phone during work hours gives you the chance to send out emergency alerts and two-way messaging that can save lives.

FAQ: Who is classified as a “deskless worker”?

Rather than working from behind a computer screen, deskless workers interact with customers on the shop floor, make deliveries on the road, or do other work in factories, mills, and plants.

If you’re in manufacturing, your frontline employees are the lifeblood of your organization. But since they don’t work from computers, you can’t simply reach out to them through your employee intranet.

Without an internal communications strategy to quickly connect with your employees out on the factory floor, you have no way of knowing whether they fully understand your corporate policies or the latest safety procedures. And, perhaps more importantly, they have no way of giving you feedback to share their valuable knowledge, ideas, and insights to help you understand how your company is running.

Employee surveys sent through two-way SMS messaging can help you get that feedback, increase productivity, and avoid losing valuable employees.

The bottom line? Two-way communication in manufacturing can: 

  • Boost employee engagement and productivity. Employees are likely to be more engaged if they feel they’re working towards a common goal. Plus, communication strategies that encourage employees to share their opinions help to make them feel valued, which significantly drives engagement. According to a Salesforce survey, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work. 
  • Increase efficiency and solve problems quickly. When a serious problem arises, an effective two-way communications strategy gives your employees quick access to resources and team members who can help them so that they can solve problems quickly and work more efficiently.
  • Save your company money — and save lives. Poor communication in the workplace can have a devastating effect on worker safety and the company’s bottom line. A SHRM study of 400 companies with over 100,000 employees showed that the average company reported a loss of $62.4 million per year due to inadequate communication.

Ready to explore more about two-way communication in manufacturing? 

Consider how you can use RedFlag’s award-winning Notification System and Two-Way Chat to engage frontline workers, schedule shifts, and reach 100% of your manufacturing workforce fast – especially when seconds count.

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