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3 ways to improve your shop floor culture

The teams manning your shop floor are critical to your production and success. But they can also be the hardest group to retain – straining your budget with fluctuating labor costs.

There are three steps to improving your production floor culture. And using the acronym ORC, they’re easy to remember.

Observation. Communication Recognition.

With these simple adjustments, HTI has boosted cultures at the shop floor level, bringing increased retention, attendance, & productivity to our client’s facilities.


A positive culture starts with leadership. And for leadership to be both effective & intentional – leaders must be involved.

At HTI, our site leads have a dedicated presence at the facilities. Observing the day-to-day flow of production allows for process confirmation. This means taking note of proper PPE usage, workstation upkeep, safety procedures & employee downtime.

Are these processes going as planned? Are there employees whose work ethic stands out above the rest? Are there additional trainings that are needed for smoother & safer production?

CommunicationShop Floor Culture-03-2

Our site leaders have weekly goals of communicating with 10% of shop floor employees.

Some of these communications are formal discussions, others are casual check-ins. We’ve learned it’s important to balance both styles to build dependability & trust within the workforce. When you touch base with floor personnel there are key areas you should discuss:

Training & equipment
  • How was your onboarding experience?
  • Do you feel properly trained on safety procedures & equipment usage?
  • Do you have the appropriate PPE?
Supervisor & leadership relationships
  • How often do you speak with leadership?
  • Do you feel your leadership is responsive & understanding?
  • Have you had any issues with your supervisor?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of your role’s expectations?
Team dynamics
  • How are you getting along with your team?
  • Are there any coworkers who are not performing to standard?
Employee engagement
  • Are there any frustrations with workload or scheduling?
  • Do you feel valued & appreciated within the organization?
  • Are you facing any challenges or roadblocks?

These conversations help identify employee issues early on. So, you can work towards proactive solutions – before turnover hits.

Shop Floor Culture-07Recognition

When your workforce feels seen & their ideas heard, you’ll notice an increase in employee engagement. People pour more effort in when they know they are a valuable team member.

So, it’s important for you to lookout for those extra efforts – AND celebrate them. Whether that’s a shoutout during a group meeting or a $5 giftcard for an extra coffee, let your people know they are appreciated. Even for the little things. Scratch that, especially for the little things.



As you begin to incorporate these steps for a better shop floor culture, you’ll realize most of these practices come down to prevention. Because being PROactive instead of REACTive makes all the difference.

It’s about managing training inconsistencies before there’s any safety concerns. It’s about responding to scheduling issues before there are talks of turnover. It’s about motivating your people to put more effort in because it’s noticed.

The results speak for themselves. When our site leads bring further visibility, safety, leadership, and recognition to the shop floor there’s a transformation.

  • We prioritize employee feedback by engaging with the shop floor to understand the challenges and frustrations impacting their satisfaction and productivity. Consistent feedback is noted and brought to client leadership as workforce concerns that need to be addressed. When action items are crafted in response, your shop floor workers are more likely to stay.Shop Floor Culture-06-1

  • Attendance is an all-too-common issue on shop floors. But when you implement leadership and employee engagement practices, your workforce becomes more invested. They feel like a valued team member whose presence is important to the company goals and are likely to have better attendance. In fact, Gallup revealed highly engaged workplaces experience 41% lower absenteeism, 40% less quality defects, and a 21% boost in profitability.

  • When your people notice their efforts being recognized and appreciated, they begin to pour more in. Studies show fortifying internal communication efforts is one of the most effective ways to engage employees with 85% of workers motivation levels increasing. Whether that is consistently hitting production goals or going above and beyond for your team members, with a positive floor culture your workforce actively seeks out opportunities to perform.

Want to transform your shop floor with HTI?



Todd White

Todd White is the VP of Operations at HTI. He has been with the company for over 13 years which gives him the operational knowledge of the ins and outs of the business. He possess strong leadership and communication skills.


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