Happy Factories

An Epicor survey took a deep dive into what makes a happy manufacturing workplace.

More than half of respondents said morale was high in the factories where they worked. What made them happy? Flexible work schedules, including more paid time off.

Next most common response: better pay.

Apart from time and money, respondents also cared that management listened to them and that they received some “non-monetary perks,” which included things like snacks in the break room and also things like time off for volunteering.

When asked what they liked best about their jobs, the largest number mentioned the satisfaction of working with their hands to make something. Slightly fewer said they were committed to the company’s mission and liked being a part of it. Workers also enjoyed spending time with their coworkers.

When morale is not that high

Disgruntled employees named poor leadership as their top complaint. About a quarter of respondents said that this was the reason for low morale. That’s about the same proportion as those who said flexible time led to high morale. The next item on the list was letting workplace issues go unaddressed.

Low pay and negative communication patterns are also morale killers.

Wait, there’s more!

Offering your workers flexible time, good pay, and respectful communication seems to be a reliable formula for a happy factory.

But the survey found some more specific items that might be surprising. For example, 60% of those surveyed said they’d take a pay cut to work in a higher-tech facility. The same number would take a pay cut to work for a more sustainable company.

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