With so much disruption in the manufacturing sector, it can be difficult for manufacturing leaders to prioritize something as intangible as “company culture.” In addition, inflation, high turnover, and rising labor costs make it difficult just to keep the lights on, so some operations may find it challenging simply to define their company culture.

Company culture is more than casual Fridays or a department-wide fantasy football league. It’s a set of behaviors, mindsets, and ways of working that ultimately dictate employee performance, the quality of your products, and your standing in the marketplace. Building a better workplace culture will tangibly impact your bottom line and better equip you to navigate the current turmoil of the industry.

For more than 70 years, Master Fluid Solutions has prioritized company culture at every phase of growth, from its humble origins as a family business to a global innovator in the metalworking fluids industry. Here are the top principles from Master’s journey that you can follow to create better jobs in the manufacturing industry:

1. Respect is key

The crux of the Golden Rule is to treat others how you want to be treated. If you want employees to be engaged in their work and invested in your company’s success, then you have to respect them as human beings with a whole life outside of their jobs in the manufacturing industry. Provide time for them to manage their personal responsibilities, reward them for their achievements, practice transparent communication, and provide opportunities for career growth and advancement.

When employees feel respected, they are more willing to work toward a company’s mission and vision. Conversely, a single negative employee experience can have a major impact both on the company and its reputation in the community, which can hinder future recruitment efforts.

2. Create structures for continuous growth

People thrive in environments where they can meaningfully contribute to the progress of their group. Therefore, in every production schedule or project, it’s beneficial to build in time to analyze how work unfolded and whether your team achieved the desired goal. Not only does this create an opportunity to set a new goal, but it’s also a chance to improve workflows and improve results in the future.

3. Encourage collaboration

Changes to company culture don’t just have to come from leadership — employees often find solutions themselves. Encourage collaboration and form cross-functional teams to improve policies and processes in data management, accounting, procurement, and even safety. This will give employees more ownership over their workplace and encourage them to bring more of themselves to their jobs in the manufacturing industry.

4. Learn from your people

Actively seek feedback from employees on a regular basis and offer open lines of communication regularly, as well as in workflow post-mortem meetings. Frontline employees have a different understanding of processes and execution than leaders, so their insight and feedback will give management a more holistic perspective of opportunities and challenges.

Open communication channels between employees and leaders inspire more trust and can lead to better business performance. At Master Fluid Solutions, we have even made large-scale changes to our company by adopting best practices from each subsidiary.

5. Create a better shop floor

With the typical work week averaging 40 hours or more, employees spend a significant portion of their lives at work, and sometimes continue their work at home. Therefore, keep your facilities clean and well-maintained to create a safer and more pleasant environment.

Even upgrades to chemical solutions can enhance the workplace experience and employee health. For example, high-quality cutting fluid in a metalworking shop prevents bacterial growth, reducing odor and contact dermatitis from exposure. In addition, fluid that resists tramp oil won’t smoke when it comes into contact with hot cutting tools and workpieces, maintaining clean air on the shop floor.

Building a better company culture can be a major undertaking, but it begins by investing in the health and safety of your employees. Improving your fluid management practices or upgrading to TRIM® coolants can affect every aspect of your operation, from overall productivity and part quality to employee morale. Schedule a site visit to learn more about how cutting fluid is impacting your company culture and how Master Fluid Solutions can help.