Davin, Machine Shop Manager at Fusion

Manager, Not a Leader, Creating a Positive Culture

Forward thinking companies like Fusion are implementing innovative solutions that enhance our recruitment and retention initiatives. A healthy work environment has kept us competitive and prepared for scaling the business according to customer demand. This environment is cultivated by our dedicated Management Team – they are the decisive factor in winning the hearts and minds of our employees. As the global demand for talented manufacturing employees becomes stronger than ever, this commitment and more necessary than ever.

We talked to our Machine Shop Manager, Davin, to learn more about the best practices for manufacturing managers. Below please find four tips for Department Managers to create an engaged team:

  1. Hire for attitude. At Fusion, our Department Managers are intimately involved with our interview and hiring processes. We hire for attitude, not for aptitude. Soft skills that are essential for successful manufacturing talent include: a strong work ethic, willingness to learn, a positive attitude, and a sense of teamwork. We also look for the ability to listen well and take direction. These qualities enable us to sustain a culture within Fusion that redefines manufacturing. Our team functions well, and we are able to maintain high quality output while keeping a balanced workload. Davin agrees: “One of the things that makes my job easier is having a team that is passionate about CNC Machining. They are invested in their careers, and eager to learn new skills as technology advances and evolves”.
  2. Set the example. Effective Department Managers serve as the model for the company culture for other employees to emulate. The quicker a manager can illustrate the model of a manufacturer’s desired culture, the faster employees will adopt it. For Davin, this means finding opportunities to live out Fusion’s Core Values Examples include making it a point to recognize the team’s accomplishments in the Machine Shop huddle every morning, or bringing in food when employees work overtime on the weekends.
  3. Prioritize communication. Regular check-ins with Department Managers, like in our ECI program, are essential to maintaining a culture of continuous improvement. These conversations provide a platform for growth, create dialogue about employees’ talents and strengths, and identify areas where they may need additional support or training. For his team, Davin sees the value in ongoing communication: “It’s important to me that they feel valuable, like they’re making a contribution. Sometimes the best way to accomplish that is to just listen.”
  4. Encourage development. At Fusion, one of our Core Values is See Possibilities, and the culture of continuous learning in the Machine Shop reinforces that. “The Machine Shop team is always open to trying a new way of doing things, whether it’s pallet changing, fixturing, scheduling, or high speed milling,” Davin shares. By empowering employees to make suggestions and take ownership of their tasks, Davin has created a team that is willing to take on any challenge and turn it into a learning opportunity.

    Today, the OEM contract manufacturing industry is changing faster than ever before. There’s a scarcity of talent, more diversity in the workplace, an increasingly mobile workforce, and innovative technology. With these forces at play, strong management is necessary for companies to survive and thrive. Implementing these best practices can better prepare your manufacturing company to improve processes, develop future leaders and turn a higher profit.