Combating Employee Burnout In Your Steel Fabrication Shop

The business if steel fabrication can be a demanding one for the more than 142 thousand workers who make up the profession in the U.S. This can be especially true during peak times of demand when the number and complexity of jobs require a commitment of an additional 4.6 hours of overtime from workers. This not only puts the workers at risk of being burnt out, it can also result in increased mistakes in the shop, resulting in increased injuries. In addition, it can also reflect in the 5 percent increase in downtime in production due to equipment breakdown from overuse and lack of maintenance. 

To ensure that you retain your workers in a job market that has seen slow employment growth, here are a few ways that you can help to combat the possibility of employee burnout in your manufacturing shop.

Compensate and appreciate

A large part of employee burnout seems to stem from feelings of not being appreciated, compensated or both in the workplace. Employees who are too demanding or who expect more overtime for less compensation packages will find that they have increased employee dissatisfaction. This can be true even if you are simply juggling numbers to be able to find the balance between increasing productivity while decreasing costs in order to remain relevant in a challenging economy against larger operations. Underbidding for jobs can also help to compound the problem of being able to stay in business without increasing the demands on your employees.

It is important that you cultivate a working environment in your shop that can encourage workers to speak up about the challenges that they face and be honest with them about the demands and challenges. Include them as much as possible in the decision making process and make an effort to praise the work they do, especially in the face of lower end pay packages and minimum bonuses.

Anticipate the needs

It is possible to anticipate the peak times that will happen throughout the year. Tracking the work flow into your shop throughout the year should be able to give you a fairly good understanding of the trends, customer demands, markets that you most often supply in your area and the times when the work flow is at its most. This will allow you to more clearly schedule the overtime that each employee can safely navigate during this time. It is also suggested that you ensure that your workers are multi-skilled by investing in in-house professional development so that there are more workers to choose from when the jobs are more. 

While general job satisfaction is rated as high by 4 out of 5 steel fabricator workers, it may not be so in your particular work situation and must be addressed quickly among those who are stressed to avoid the perception of high levels of burnout among your employees.