The Impact of Workplace Stress on Manufacturing Employees

As a business owner, team leader, or operations manager in the manufacturing sector, you already know that productive workers are happy workers. And happy workers are usually those who feel safe in the workplace, who are paid adequately, and who are treated with respect by their employers. If any of these conditions aren’t met, stress levels go up and productivity goes down. Here are some of the specific ways that poor working conditions can hurt your employees and undermine your bottom line.

Noise, Temperature, Vibrations, and Environmental Stressors

Short intense bursts of exposure to any of these three conditions (noise, temperature extremes, and vibrations) can cause trauma and one-time injury. A burst of sound can damage the tympanic membrane, which may result in hearing loss. Sudden bursts of environmental heat and cold can cause hypothermia, frostbite, heat exhaustion or burns, and vibrations can cause muscle and skeletal injury. But these conditions can also have serious impact on employee health at very low grades if they’re sustained and the employees are not protected. Don’t wait for employees to complain about these problems—be proactive and perform regular inspections to make sure these threats are kept under control.

Perceptions of Employer Commitment to Safety

It’s been well documented that employees are more productive and turnover tends to be lower when workers perceive that their employers are committed to their safety. Simple things like installing a handrail on a high platform can make a significant difference in terms of employee engagement and loyalty. Even if no employees have ever fallen from the platform, protecting them from the possibility can be a wise investment. The same applies to protection from dangerous machinery, enforcement of hard hat rules, and prominently posted safety warnings.

Overtime and Working Hours

Monitor overtime and make sure that employees are getting enough sleep and adequate breaks, especially when these employees are completing high stress tasks that require concentration and focus. Don’t allow employees to skip rest periods or work consecutively for an unsafe or chronically stressful number of hours.

Monitor Manager-Employee Relationships

Studies typically show that a high percentage of workplace happiness or misery results from the health and strength of boss-employee relationships. If you see evidence of a mismatch, bullying, extreme personality conflicts, or other problems that keep exceptional employees under stress or not operating at their full capacity, intervene. Disciplinary action or a transfer may be necessary.

For more on how to keep both acute and chronic background stress from undermining the productivity of your workplace and the health and engagement of your employees, contact the expert staffing team at Lift Temp.