Increasing efficiency on the shopfloor with internal communication

  • Zita Rüdiger
  • Communication

Finding good, motivated and committed employees is becoming an increasingly difficult task that the management of a company must master. It is therefore of great importance that a good perspective is offered and that employees are emotionally integrated into the organization. If this is not the case, the consequences for the company can be serious. Absences due to illness increase and there can be a general refusal to work or, in the worst case, even active work against the company’s goals.

Efficient work can only be achieved through goal-oriented communication and organizational structures that are worth supporting.

In order to implement this successfully, it is of great importance that managers inform, motivate and integrate their employees into the company through clever communication measures.

That this is easier said than done quickly becomes clear when taking a closer look at the day-to-day business of a company. Due to different priorities, lack of time and poor communication skills, managers usually focus on day-to-day operations instead of managing employees.

Internal communication concept

Internal employee communication can be divided into four different pillars.

1. Information

The main purpose of communication in companies is to pass on information that is relevant for all or some of the employees.

The information pillar can be understood as the basic pillar, since the following pillars could not exist without it.

2. Dialogue

In addition to the fluctuation of information transfer, dialog is of central importance in internal communication. Thus, employees do not only receive information unilaterally and passively, but can actively contribute to the company’s activities, integrate and reveal new perspectives.

3. Motivation

Employee motivation should be understood as the result or goal of successful employee communication. Through transparent and efficient communication, managers increase employee motivation and performance. These build a stronger emotional bond with the organization and employee turnover is reduced. This saves costs and avoids the loss of knowledge that occurs when employees leave.

4. Transfer of knowledge

If employee turnover does occur, it is essential that departing employees pass on important information and knowledge to their colleagues and do not “take it with them”. Sharing one’s knowledge also often leads to recognition from managers and colleagues. This increased recognition also has a positive impact on employee motivation and, in the best case scenario, leads to lower employee turnover.

Internal communication tools

A few years ago, bulletin boards, employee magazines, staff meetings and circulars were the most widely used instruments of internal communication.

Nowadays, thanks to digitization, there are much more modern and simpler ways of communicating with employees.

Today the most popular instruments for internal employee communication are:

  • Internal Newsletter
  • Internal Blog
  • Chat / Messaging Tools
  • Social Media
  • Employee feedback tools

Which internal employee communication tools are the right ones for you?

In order to avoid information overload and the associated chaos, one should agree on two to three central instruments in the company and clearly define which information is communicated via which channel so that information can be found directly.

If new tools are introduced, it is elementary to listen to the employees’ opinion on the respective tools beforehand and to include them in the decision-making process. Employees will be the main users of these channels and should agree with them.

In addition, it is important that employees receive a brief explanation of how to use the respective tool when it is introduced for the first time, so that they can subsequently make optimal use of it.

Supervisors and the management should actively shape and use the channels to serve as role models.

Employee communication on the shopfloor

Especially on the shopfloor, efficient communication is crucial to guarantee optimal production.

A good example of this is the shift change. Often this happens in a very short time and under stress, without the colleagues being able to exchange information about current problems of a machine. For example, the machine operator of the following shift does not know what happened in the previous shifts and whether he should pay particular attention to special cases – for example, because a machine has often caused problems or has even broken down.

This is where the use of smart wearables with appropriate software can provide support. By recording real-time data, machine operators on each shift can access notes from previous shifts at the touch of a button and see at a glance what they need to pay particular attention to.

When internal arrangements or stand-up meetings are due, it is often difficult for the department manager to call all production line employees at once.

By using smart wearable software, a notification can be sent simultaneously to all affected employees with, for example, information about the time and meeting place – everyone is notified at the touch of a button and the department manager does not have to travel long distances on the shopfloor. Especially in emergencies, a “global” call or message function is an advantage. Especially in times of Corona, it can happen that a complete production line has to be notified directly and, if possible, simultaneously if, for example, a colleague has tested positive for the Corona virus. Such a function is also ideal in the event of accidents with cross-workstation effects.

How often does it happen in your company that a malfunction or even a machine standstill is noticed too late? Often the machine operator is responsible for many different machines and only notices a problem that has occurred after some time. This costs not only money but also time.

Once he has identified the problem, he must then – depending on the problem – go in search of the right employee who can fix the problem, again losing precious time in the process.

If the employees in the company are equipped with industrial smartwatches, the responsible machine operator receives a notification on the smartwatch directly when a problem occurs and can immediately take care of the solution or, if necessary, notify the foreman at the push of a button and request him.

Thus, loud alarms, many flashing signal lights and stressed or unnerved employees are a thing of the past.

Find out how you can increase efficiency on the shopfloor through internal communication in a free initial consultation – feel free to contact us!