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The most important asset in any business is people. Manufacturing Advisor Stephen Booth reveals how businesses that invest in their leadership skills rise to the top, and why our fully-funded Manufacturing Culture and Leadership training is the perfect opportunity for managers of all levels to up their game in 2024.

Join the next one-day Manufacturing Culture and Leadership course


(plus optional onsite support with a specialist Manufacturing Advisor)


Wednesday 24th April 2024 in Whitefield, Bury


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If you’re a manager or team leader in manufacturing, you’ll know better than anyone that it’s people that make or break a business, not the kit you work with.

You’ll also know how hard it can be to get the best out of your team, especially when you are trying to lead change or implement a new process.

Just like any other skill, leadership is something we can all work on and improve. Our new Manufacturing Culture and Leadership development course is a brilliant, fully-funded opportunity to do this in 2024.


Why is culture and leadership so important in manufacturing?

Culture is the invisible thing holding your organisation together. It’s the set of values, beliefs and behaviours that shape the way your business operates at every level. Your culture is continually being moulded by everyone involved in it, and it can either elevate you to success or hold you back.

A good culture is the key to manufacturing excellence, and the key to a good culture is good leadership. But this doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

One of the major failings in British manufacturing, in my opinion, is that when someone becomes an ‘expert’ in their job, they are then given management responsibilities. There’s an assumption that if you’re the best or most experienced operator on a production line, you should be the line leader.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how good you are in your non-management role, individuals without leadership skills do not make great managers.

In fact, we tend to undervalue leadership skills so much in manufacturing that many businesses assume the only way to improve productivity is to throw money at better kit and new technology. But more often than not, the best way to increase productivity is to focus on how you manage and lead people.

In today’s high cost environment, where competition for talent is fierce and employee expectations are changing, the importance of good leadership is only going to grow.

The good news is these skills can be learnt. Good operators and engineers can become good leaders, they just need a helping hand.

What difference does culture and leadership actually make?

I’ve seen many times over in my career just how impactful good leadership and culture can be in a manufacturing business. People at all levels feel empowered to make changes and take ownership of problems. There is better communication and collaboration between teams. People are more motivated and feel more valued. They thoroughly understand what they are doing and how they fit in to what’s going on around them. 

As a result, performance and productivity goes up. Before I joined the GM Business Growth Hub as a Manufacturing Advisor, the manufacturer I previously worked for managed to double output in four years despite the difficulties of EU Exit and the pandemic.  We didn’t add new kit, change our products or massively increase our headcount. It was all achieved through culture and leadership.

In other words, if you want a better, more profitable business, you need strong and energised leadership!


What will you learn on our programme?

Manufacturing Culture and Leadership is a one-day practical workshop that gives you the leadership principles and techniques for building a lean, productive enterprise people are motivated to work for. 

Key topics include:

  • Situational Leadership: When is the right time to direct and when is the right time to delegate? Situational Leadership is about assessing the readiness and capabilities of your team and adjusting your management style to the specific needs of different individuals
  • Managing Conflict: A huge part of any manager’s leadership role is being able to successfully resolve conflicts. Effective conflict management is about understanding different perspectives, showing compassion and using negotiation to reach a positive outcome
  • Absence Management: Absenteeism is a common problem many managers face. Good leaders manage absence in a fair and consistent manner by digging deeper into the underlying causes that may be causing absenteeism in the first place
  • Effective Communication: How comfortable are you standing up in front of your team and communicating in a positive way, even when you have bad news? Good communication is about skills like active listening and how to run an effective meeting
  • Problem Solving: Fostering a problem solving culture (as opposed to a firefighting culture) is crucial for achieving manufacturing excellence. We’ll look at how to empower individuals to be proactive and make use of problem solving tools like Five Whys and fishbone diagrams.

We tackle each of these themes and more in a group setting, so you’ll be able to meet and discuss the difficulties you face with fellow managers from other organisations in a blame-free environment.

After the workshop, you’ll have the option of fully funded follow-up support with one of our specialist Manufacturing Advisors to transfer what you’ve learnt into your organisation.


Is Manufacturing Culture and Leadership right for you?

Manufacturing Culture and Leadership is designed for businesses that are looking to embed lean, continuous improvement and strong leadership skills throughout their organisation.

It’s a perfect accompaniment to one of our other training courses running through 2024, Lean Champion.

Whereas Lean Champion is all about the nuts and bolts of continuous improvement, Manufacturing Culture and Leadership is about how to actually manage the process of doing it. For instance, how do you ensure a new lean practice becomes habitual and routine? How do you give people the confidence to actually stop and resolve problems? How do you keep people engaged and motivated?

Everybody in your organisation can benefit from Lean Champion, management or not, so if you’re new to lean I recommend you attend this workshop first.

Once you know your way around lean, anybody in a role that manages people, or is aspiring to do so, can come onto Manufacturing Culture and Leadership to learn how to take things forward through good leadership.


Looking for something else?

As well as Lean Champion and Manufacturing Culture and Leadership, we are also launching a brand-new Sales and Marketing for Manufacturers course in 2024.

Sales and Marketing for Manufacturers is all about creating a winning marketing strategy that will help you stand out from your competitors, attract more customers, and build long term value into your business.

All of our courses are fully-funded and come with the option of follow-up support from our specialist manufacturing team. Get in touch today to find out more.

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