6 things that can increase employee satisfaction on the shopfloor

  • Zita Rüdiger
  • General

Demotivation among employees is expensive. Around 30% of the average loss in productivity and work performance is due to a lack of employee motivation (Gallup study).

Dissatisfied employees do not build an emotional bond with the company. 19% of employees without an emotional bond are actively looking for a new job, 23% of employees without an emotional bond are looking around for a new job, but are not actively searching.

Motivated and satisfied employees are therefore a key component of a successful company.

However, it is often difficult for HR managers or management to see how satisfied employees really are – especially in the manufacturing sector. Since there are usually no opportunities for anonymous feedback in these areas and only a few employees like to give direct criticism, many problems remain hidden and employee satisfaction continues to decline.

How to increase employee satisfaction on the shopfloor

In order to increase employee satisfaction on the shopfloor and in adjacent areas in manufacturing companies, it is important to first understand what employee motivation actually is.

Two impulses of motivation are distinguished – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

In intrinsic motivation, the incentive comes from the action itself. These are, for example, personal curiosity, fun, one’s own expectation of success, or emotional incentives.

In extrinsic motivation, external influences play a significant role. The motivation of employees can be strengthened by coercion or reward.

According to Herzberg, employee satisfaction/dissatisfaction is influenced by motivators and hygiene factors. Accordingly, motivators are spurring factors that trigger employee satisfaction. Hygiene factors, on the other hand, are factors whose absence leads to general dissatisfaction.

Motivators

  • Work content
  • Success
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Recognition
  • Design possibilities

Hygiene factors

  • Good working/company climate
  • Safety of the workplace
  • Employee management
  • Company policy
  • Working conditions

3 main reasons,

that lead to insufficient focus on employee satisfaction by managers:

1. communication deficits

In most companies, motivators and hygiene factors exist extensively, but are not properly and fully communicated to employees.

2. Lack of perception of the motivational situation

The motivational situation of employees is usually hardly taken into account in corporate decisions and changes.

3. design problems

Often, motivators in companies are not coordinated with what employees want, so they can generate little to no impact.

How do you recognize declining employee satisfaction?

  • Number of conflicts increases
  • Sick leave increases
  • Scrap rate/error rate increases
  • Proportion of overtime decreases
  • Fluctuation rate increases

6 factors to increase employee satisfaction in industrial companies

Since the working environment of, for example, consulting companies differs greatly from that of manufacturing companies, not all factors can be applied across the board to all companies.

In order to maintain and continuously increase employee satisfaction on the shopfloor, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account.

1. Employee survey

Surveys/feedback make it possible to record the general motivation situation in the company and to draw conclusions about possible causes. The survey should be conducted as anonymously as possible in order to obtain the most informative and honest feedback possible. For example, the feedback function of an industrial smartwatch could be used to provide employees with a quick and uncomplicated way of answering various questions.

2. Involvement of employees

When it comes to changes in the company and major corporate decisions, it is essential to constantly involve employees, keep them informed and take note of their opinions.

To keep employee satisfaction high in times of change, it is important to ask employees to contribute their own ideas. This gives employees a sense of belonging and co-determination in the company. In addition, this increases the self-esteem of the employees and at the same time increases the ability to innovate through the wide-ranging creativity of your employees.

Employees on the shopfloor should always be involved in the decision-making process for new machine purchases, as it is the machine operators who have to work with the machines and can sometimes bring their own preferences to the process.

3. Team events / excursions

Another way to keep employee satisfaction high or even increase is to organize events and excursions. Climbing gardens and rafting/canoe trips have proven to be very suitable. Employees are brought closer together, get to know each other better and spend time together outside of the company and working hours. This leads to new impressions, conversations and trust among employees.

4. Communication on eye level

To ensure that employees do not feel less valued, it is essential that communication between employees and leaders/management takes place on an eye-level basis. This includes, for example, taking problems raised by employees seriously and finding quick solutions.

5. Apply gamification

Another motivational incentive can also be triggered by implementing gamification. Here, playful apps/programs are integrated into non-game areas. For example, employees can collect points for special performance/speed, as in a computer game, and receive a reward when they reach a certain score. It is important to ensure that this method does not promote an extreme degree of competitive thinking and action among individual employees.

6. Pleasant working atmosphere

It is also important to provide employees with a pleasant working atmosphere. This includes, for example, minimizing hectic, stress and noise. The provision of relaxation areas and the avoidance of sensory overload.

By using industrial smartwatches and the corresponding system, this can be implemented easily and quickly. For example, individual notifications can be sent directly to the smartwatch of the relevant machine operator. In the event of a machine failure or error, for example, loud signal tones and signal lights are now a thing of the past. The affected machine operator receives a direct message and can take care of the problem – without distracting other machine operators or having to check whether their machine is affected.


Employee satisfaction in the company must be given high priority. Various tools facilitate the implementation of measures for higher employee satisfaction. How you can implement them in your company with the help of the aucobo system, you will learn in a free initial consultation – feel free to contact us!