Your People: The Most Important Investment Your Business Can Make.

People in Manufacturing

You’re an owner, Chairman or CEO of a business…

  • The business is performing ahead of budget
  • Customer relationships are strong
  • Staff retention is good
  • There is a healthy new business pipeline


Surely that is nirvana? But, what potentially lurks beneath all the appetising figures that appear on paper. Can any one of the elements above survive without the other?
For example:

  • Will your business continue to perform ahead of budget if you end up with a weak pipeline?
  • Would customer relationships remain strong if your staff start to leave the business?
  • Can staff retention maintain if your business doesn’t continue to perform?


The threat of the ‘domino’ effect is ever present in a business, no matter how well you are performing.

People are at the heart of manufacturing businesses – even automated manufacturing needs that element of human interaction to set objectives and drive the desired performance. However, unlike machines, people can be fickle and unpredictable - they have the power to make or break a business.

So, how can you ensure you keep all those plates spinning and someone in your business isn’t going to cause one to fall?

The answer – never leave it until it’s too late to understand the people in your business!

I was recently speaking to a very accomplished CEO in my network, Tim Pryce, who explained that learning to put the people in his business first was a steep learning curve. Historically, Tim had delivered outstanding results through negotiating strong margins and driving hard volume output through his workforce. Persistently staying on top of his senior management team, ensuring the message was cascaded and pace of delivery was kept at a high.

You could be forgiven for thinking that if a business is profitable, jobs aren’t being cut, and bonuses are being paid,. that this would keep the workforce engaged and satisfied. However, Tim took a bold move to empower the workforce and put culture, morale and staff engagement ahead of the profit generation.

He found that by adopting this approach, the following happened:

  1. He was spending less time obsessing over figures from an office and more time on the factory floor engaging with every employee in the business, offering them his time.
  2. The workforce felt inspired and were coming up with more innovative and efficient ways of doing things – it gave them freedom to think and benefitted the business.
  3. The business felt collaborative. Tim was approachable and people at every level understood the value they contributed to the business.
  4. The business also ultimately became more profitable as a result.


I found it interesting to learn that by focusing more on the intangible factors within the business, the tangible factors benefitted. This shows the power of workforce assessment, ensuring you bring the best people into your business and know what drives them. If you can get your people strategy right it makes the other parts of running a successful business much easier.

Tim will be speaking in more detail about how workforce assessment can benefit your business along with Colin Mercer managing director of Wickland Westcott, in our London office on June 25th  2019.

Wickland Wescott offer expert services in board level evaluation and assessment, coaching, psychometric testing, change management and succession planning. Colin will be exploring the science behind the tools available to assess your workforce, what they look for, and presenting real-life case studies to explain how they can benefit your business when it comes time for your next hire.

If you’d like to learn more about how workforce assessment can help you to make your next appointment the best one for your business, please register your interest here.

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