Could better employee engagement help to fill your skills gaps?

Could better employee engagement help to fill your skills gaps?

Across the manufacturing sector, businesses are struggling with insufficient numbers of skilled staff. If you’re reading this article, it is likely that you are experiencing this problem to a greater-or-lesser degree yourself. Attracting the right people is a challenge that requires careful attention to put your business in the best possible position. So what can be done to make your business the one that people want to work for?

Manufacturing Matters Magazine interviewed Roy Spencer, an expert on company culture and organisational change from Iskra Consulting, to gain further insights on this topic.

“It is not just about increasing wages,” says Roy. “There’s only so much you can do before your increased costs make you uncompetitive. You need to get creative.”

He continued, explaining that “money is only one component of appeal, so you need to look into what else you can do to make your organisation pleasant place to work. If you want a candidate to commit to spending 40 hours a week with you, then they have to see themselves enjoying that time to some degree.”

How can manufacturing business make themselves more appealing employers?

If you were moving to a new country, you’d want to make sure the nation you chose had a culture you could comfortably live within; it is no different when moving to a new company. When building an attractive company culture, it is crucial to listen to what employees want. However, this is not always as easy as it may seem.

“The best way to understand what your staff wants is by asking them, but it’s not that simple,” explained Roy. “Many companies attempt to gather feedback from their employees, but busy staff members often do not participate, and the information provided is often brief or unhelpful.”

Roy  recommends the concept of ‘gamification’, an innovative strategy to enhance staff engagement in feedback programs.

“The key is to make these initiatives enjoyable by turning them into competitions. Establish a system that encourages individuals and different departments to compete in providing the most or the best feedback. This way, staff members are incentivised to participate.”

“Listening to your staff is invaluable, and the more information you gather, the better you can understand their desires,” Roy emphasised.

By ‘gamifying’ the process, employers can achieve up to a 90% participation rate in employee surveys. This enables them to gain a deeper understanding of their employees’ wants and needs, ultimately helping to create a more enticing company culture and improving performance.

“Not only does listening to employees make your company culture more attractive to potential hires, but the act of listening itself is also highly valued.”

Roy Spencer – Director of Iskra Consulting

In times of high costs and limited staff availability, actively shaping company culture has never been more critical for maintaining growth and ensuring long-term survival.

“Being proactive is always better than being reactive, so companies should consider non-financial strategies to enhance their appeal as employers. Gamification is just one of many options.”

For more information about staff retention, company culture, and addressing skills shortages, please contact Roy Spencer at