As automation in the Manufacturing sector boosts production, staff are embracing the benefits – with more independence and efficiency their requirements are changing, according to the latest Employee Engagement Benchmark report from TTi Research..
Flexibility and new challenges are becoming increasingly important to staff in the UK’s Manufacturing sector, although the sector scores lowest of the 11 surveyed (jointly with Automotive) for employee engagement (7.8/10), and lowest overall for job satisfaction (7.4/10).
TTi Research’s latest data from their ongoing multisector employee benchmarking research shows that the main driver for high job satisfaction and engagement in the sector remains unchanged since the start of the study: ‘Understanding what is required from you’ consistently scored as the top engagement factor in the sector, with its latest score being 8.5/10.
However, as the benchmarking has progressed, other trends in Manufacturing employee engagement priorities have emerged, revealing that other attributes are becoming more important for Manufacturing workers as roles evolve to accommodate new technologies and practices.
Manufacturing employees were asked to score a range of engagement attributes according to how satisfied they were in their current role [Fig.1].
Glyn Luckett, Commercial Director at TTi Research, explained:
“Historically, the Manufacturing sector has experienced consistently low staff expectations surrounding ‘Flexibility in your role’. This is largely due to the fixed work patterns commonly associated with mass production processes.
“These latest results suggest that staff are now placing greater value on employers offering more flexible and accommodating work patterns. The survey also shows a surge in ‘Being encouraged to take on new challenges’, which hints at how technology is impacting the sector, as firms move to up-skill their workforce in line with the move towards more robotic and automated production systems.”
Other emerging attributes which hint at the effects of automation on employee engagement and priorities include ‘Being empowered to make decisions’, which now scores highest in the Manufacturing sector (8.6/10).
Glyn Luckett added:
“Automation allows employees to work increasingly independently, and smarter, in less time, while also supporting cost effectiveness and providing a boost to production. The impact of new technologies on the manufacturing workforce can also be linked to high score given to ‘Flexibility in your role’ (8.2), as well as the increase in engagement score given to ‘Training to do your job well’ (8.0)”
In its analysis of the data from the Employee Benchmarking Survey, TTi Research uses in-depth analysis of verbatim employee comments, providing researchers with a greater understanding of Manufacturing employees’ priorities, motivators, and what the specific pain points are in their working environment.
The data is derived from monthly online surveys of employees from different organisations within each sector, which also allows TTi Research to identify which Manufacturing companies have the most (and least) engaged employees, and how the sector as a whole measures up against other industries.
For more information about TTi Research and its multi-sector Benchmarking Surveys, or to commission your own report, contact TTi Research.