Your ability to be competitive as a manufacturer–or any business for that matter–is highly dependent on your workforce. That’s not only the internal workforce of your company, but the external candidates available for hire as well. The talent pool will largely determine what a business is able to accomplish, and, first and foremost, it starts with leaders.
Leadership is as vital in manufacturing as any other industry today. Employees in manufacturing need a special breed of person to inspire loyalty. Asking your human assets to revel in hard work or physical labor is no easy task and even a good manager can struggle if he or she does not possess the attributes necessary to lead in this environment.
As upper management we must avoid a popular mistake in manufacturing: management is not a promotion. A great contributor is just that. The skill set of a manager is far different than that of a worker. Promoting an exceptional employee to management solely because he or she excels in his or her current role is a good way to gain a so-so manager and lose an upper-echelon contributor. It builds a bad culture and will be detrimental to your business. Find other ways to reward top performers.
A great leader for your organization must be three things: coachable, fitting and able to be followed.
Willingness to Grow
Is your candidate coachable? Moving into a new role and working with new people is a learning experience. The incumbent must walk a fine line between rigidity and confidence. This is no place for a leader who has things all figured out, not in this industry.
Manufacturing has a unique culture. It is imperative that you hire a leader that fits into and understands that culture. Managers must be willing to do the dirty work, put in the long hours, and gain the respect of the workers. A production line that does have appreciation for its leader will sorely affect workplace morale.
Ability to Lead
Does the candidate have what it takes for employees to follow? If possible, look at how he or she is viewed by people that work for him now. Has he or she inspired loyalty amongst the team, and will they be disappointed if they have to work for someone else?
The current job campaign experience is highly driven by HR departments. Fancy interview questions, personality assessments and whatever else may be thrown at job seekers seem to overshadow the only real concerns when hiring for any position: can the candidate do the job, is he/she willing to do it, and will it be a good fit? When it comes to asking “can?” these three points are a great place to start.
Does your leader guide you to success? Read more posts on our blog page to see how successful leaders operate!