Good Employees: If You Highlight Them, More Will ComeJanuary 19, 2024
Great concepts can crop out of unexpected places: corn fields; marketing agencies.
In trying to encourage young people to explore a career in manufacturing, a company could shine a little limelight on the ones who have. Award the cream of the crop, publish their photos and bios, and others will follow.
That’s the theory behind Manufacturing Mavericks, a recognition program cultivated by marketing agency Custom Direct, which works with small- to-medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to “create a digital presence,” say agency leads Nancy O’Leary and Geoff Bevington.
“While talking with clients regarding their ‘About’ website pages and company cultures, the workforce shortage kept coming up. Clients asked us what we could do on their websites to help recruit the next generation of manufacturing employees,” says O’Leary. “It’s uppermost on manufacturers’ minds.”
“We thought, we need to be able to help them understand and picture what a role in manufacturing looks like,” adds Bevington.
The agency developed the recognition program with straightforward criteria. The candidates had to be working on the shop floor and have graduated from high school within the last 5 yr.—so, 18 to 23-yr. olds.
“I don’t want to sound crass, but we’ve had several of these discussions about the need to recruit a workforce, and the people sitting in the room…there isn’t a single student there,” Bevington points out.
Planting the Groundwork for Recognition
The agency reached out to about 40 companies with whom they are connected and invited them to nominate young employees for the recognition.
The nominators completed a form with basic information and included a photo of each nominated employee at work. The nominees themselves were asked two questions: “Why did you choose a career manufacturing?” and “What has your manufacturing career done for you and your life?”
Of the submissions, the agency selected 20 notable employees to recognize.
All 20 were posted on the agency’s “Manufacturing Mavericks” website page with the manufacturers’ logos and hyperlinks, but the identities of the selected people were masked. “So, it became apparent which manufacturers had a winner, but viewers didn’t know who they were until the day of the reveal,” says Bevington.