two businessmen in a manufacturing plant

Today’s demanding and dynamic manufacturing landscape requires talented, multifaceted leaders to meet the needs and goals of the organization and engage the workforce in driving results. The CMOE team is highly experienced in providing high-impact learning and development solutions such as a manufacturing leadership training program. These programs are designed to maximize success and support the organization in achieving lasting bottom-line results.

What Is Manufacturing Leadership?

Manufacturing leadership focuses on developing current and future leaders in manufacturing. As the industry continues to shift and evolve, manufacturing organizations must leverage leadership capabilities to:

  • Successfully adapt to change
  • Retain talented employees
  • Transfer industry-specific knowledge about manufacturing processes and procedures
  • Change organizational behavior and build culture

What Does a Leader in Manufacturing Do?

A successful leader in manufacturing creates a work environment where every person

  • Clearly understands their roles, responsibilities, and what they are accountable for
  • Is committed to performing work at the highest level of ability
  • Communicates and disseminates information that impact others or directly impacts production

Some of the day-to-day tasks include (but are not limited) to:

  • Ensuring products are produced in a way that meets quality standard and specifications
  • Strategizing and offering recommendations on optimizing or improving workflow or processes
  • Mapping out specific roles and responsibilities and communicating information and updates to team members
  • Managing production disruptions and challenges

Why Is Manufacturing Leadership Training Important?

A purposeful manufacturing leadership training program ensures:

  • Operational excellence around processes and standards that drive production efficiency and quality
  • Commitment to Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) policies, procedures, or regulations
  • Commitment to meeting production demands and business results
  • Successful shift changes over meetings for team transitions

Successful training also empowers leaders to develop team members and promotes career growth. Line operators and production team members are at the forefront of the organization, and they are the ones who make team- and company-wide objectives a reality.

Yet, the unfortunate reality is:

Thus, manufacturing organizations must begin planning for the talent challenges now and build their leadership bench strength. Investing in leadership development ensures current and future leaders not only have a clear purpose, but that they also possess the skillsets to develop individual contributors to help them understand how they fit and why they are important to the organization. Good leadership influences the right behaviors over time.

two engineers in a manufacturing office

What Should Manufacturing Leadership Training Entail?

Four areas encompass manufacturing leadership training. We explain each below with tips on how to be a good manufacturing leader in each area:

1. Increasing Productivity

Teaching leaders how they can impact productivity lays the groundwork for driving successful teamwork and output.

Actionable Tips for Leaders

Focus on upskilling. The Manufacturing Institute Training Survey reports that upskilling workers can enhance productivity and help staff progress in their careers.

Actions that manufacturing companies have taken to drive upskilling involve providing:

  • Workplace recognition and reinforcement coaching (41.5%)
  • Offering information about on training opportunities that is available to leaders or team members (50.8%)
  • Career planning services (18.5%)

By incorporating these practices into the leadership training and prioritizing the growth and development of both leaders and individual contributors, organizations can see increased productivity in their frontline.

2. Improving Company Culture

Continual shift work can make it difficult to find time to step back and reflect on how attitudes, behaviors, values, and actions shape the overall company culture. Positive company culture is instrumental to your bottom line and talent retention, and it is directly linked to workforce happiness.

Actionable Tips

While good communication may seem like an obvious requirement, only 65% of manufacturing staff members understand the why behind organizational initiatives or change that is taking place. This knowledge gap and lack of information dissemination impacts the workforce experience and company culture.

Training should help leaders:

Assess the communication styles of team members
Identify actionable ways to elevate communication with unique styles in mind
Map out the connection between individual roles and the bigger picture/ organizational objectives

3. Supporting Team Members

Manufacturing employees are human beings beyond their roles as employees. As they spend significant time on the job doing taxing work, it’s important to consistently support them to nurture their growth, potential, and internal career paths.

Actionable Tips

Every individual has unique needs. Set aside time to conduct 1:1 meetings with them to learn what they need to support them. This may also be a good opportunity to discuss skill gaps and strengths and how to better leverage them.

Examples of supporting team member development may include:

  • Cross-functional training: This allows individuals to learn and hone their skills and provides accessible coverage in the event a staff member must be absent due to personal matters.
  • Educational assistance: 61.5% of manufacturing companies offer some type of educational assistance. This can be an impactful way to support team members in growing their skills sets that directly (or indirectly) add value to the organization. Organizations can also tie educational assistance to career paths in an effort to help team members see the long-term career possibilities by partnering with the organization.

4. Elevating Retention

Manufacturing leaders must focus not only on team and business performance in the present, but how these actions will impact the future. Improving retention levels is a key component to manufacturing leadership training. A good leader makes strategic decisions that reduce employee turnover and impact overall longevity.

Actionable Tips

When individuals feel cared for and understand what is expected of them, this fosters a newfound purpose.

Leaders can take the following steps to elevate retention at their manufacturing organization:

  • Recognize team members: When it comes to recognition, the manufacturing industry performs poorly when compared to other industries. Only 11% of manufacturing staff members say their organization has a recognition system in place for achievements.
  • Establish clear paths for growth: Offering avenues for job development or career development will help individuals understand how current roles and responsibilities impact future opportunities. This transparency will help future-proof your workforce.

Choose CMOE for Your Manufacturing Leadership Training Needs

We believe every organization is unique—and that includes yours. The CMOE team is ready to understand your needs and objectives to help you build a sustainable manufacturing leadership training program. Reach out to us for more information.

About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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