The best workplaces in manufacturing show an evolving industry where people are the biggest asset
San Francisco – Today’s top manufacturing firms are not your granddad’s factory. Dramatic changes in industrial production have prompted companies to retool their relationships with employees as they compete for a shrinking pool of skilled workers. A new employment deal defined by high levels of trust is among the findings as Great Place to Work® and Fortune announce the second annual list of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production.
Energy company Hilcorp is the top manufacturing and production workplace in 2016. Electronics manufacturer Tactical Electronics ranks second on the list of 15 firms, followed by orthopedic surgical supply manufacturer Arthrex, Inc.
“The leading manufacturing and production companies know the game has changed,” says Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “The best workplaces in the industry know they can’t just churn out their products with warm bodies. They need to focus on attracting and retaining top talent by putting people first, in a high-trust culture. That’s how they are winning in the market.”
The Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production list was selected entirely by employee feedback from over 34,900 randomly selected employees from companies in the manufacturing and production sector. Employees anonymously answered 58 questions about how frequently they experience the behaviors that create a great workplace. Companies achieving the highest overall results in their size categories were ranked based on this data.
The Best Companies to Work For in Manufacturing and Production defy outdated perceptions of working in these industries. Take job security: 92 percent of employees at companies on the list say their leaders would lay people off only as a last resort. That's even better than the response from people at companies on the broader ranking of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, which includes organizations in healthcare and technology experiencing much faster growth.
And forget about the stereotype of fat-cat executives in conflict with poorly paid assembly line grunts. An average of 82 percent of employees at the best manufacturing and production workplaces say they receive a fair share of profits. Hilcorp, for example, gave out $100,000 bonus checks to all employees last year after it met five-year goals.
As a result of their employee-focused approach, companies that made the list have an average turnover rate of just 7.2 percent, much lower than the national industry average of 13 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Keeping that turnover low will offer a real advantage to these companies in the years ahead. As the president of the National Association of Manufacturers recently pointed out, the sector is expected to create 3.5 million new jobs in the next decade, but a lack of skilled workers is likely to leave 2 million of them unfilled. On top of the skills deficit, the industry also faces the challenges an aging U.S. workforce and rising labor costs in Asia that make it easier to "insource" many of the jobs that left the U.S. in decades past.
In this context, the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production aren't just exceptional for their people policies. They're at the forefront of an entire industry that will need to create high-trust work environments in order to stay competitive in the years ahead.
"There's a lot of hiring in manufacturing, and there's a lot of demand in manufacturing," says Anil Saxena, Partner at Great Place to Work and an expert in workplace culture. He points out that the perception of the sector as less-than-glamorous needn't be a barrier to retaining valuable people. "If you treat your employees with respect and you involve them in your decision making, they'll go the extra mile for you, regardless of their job title."
To see the full list of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production, click here. To see the schedule for all of our workplace lists and more information on how to apply, visit Great Place to Work’s website.
To learn about attending the annual Great Place to Work Conference, April 6-8 in San Diego, click here.
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For®" list and a series of Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces lists including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industry lists.
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