Much of the pay deficit resulted from agency workers being kept in the dark about their rights. They were twice as likely to be unaware of their holiday entitlement than non-agency workers, and construction workers employed through agencies for more than three months were earning an average of 76p an hour less than non-agency staff, the foundation said.

The BMW Group signed the Diversity Charter back in 2011 and committed itself to create a working environment free of prejudices.

Innovation comes in many forms, and for Nova Group Inc., it goes hand-in-hand with keeping workers safe.

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It also urged the government to repeal contracts that allowed firms to avoid paying agency workers the same as directly employed staff, and called for action to boost awareness of employment rights by requiring agencies to provide a standardised statement outlining workers’ entitlements on their first day of work.

“Studying why and how things go right can be an effective [way] to identify potential issues before they present themselves,” says Seabaugh. “We believe that by analyzing our work, obtaining front-line employees’ input regarding hazard identification/control and responding to feedback for process improvements, we are better able to provide an environment where safe work can be performed.”

Waukegan, IL
Design, Manufacturing, Installation Service
836 employees / 12 sites / 1 EHS Professional

• Inform workers of their rights and responsibilities by appropriate means, including posting the DOE-designated Worker Protection Poster in the workplace where it is accessible to all workers.

“Given strong economic performance across many US industries in 2018, employees hold much higher expectations for greater increases in wages and bonuses going into 2019,” said Kropp. “As companies approach compensation planning for next year, executives will need to factor in these employee expectations to remain competitive and to attract and retain talent, otherwise they risk losing their best workers to competitors.”

Instill a positive culture. A company should establish a series of values as the basis for culture such as honesty, excellence, attitude, respect, and teamwork (IOMA, 2008). A company that creates the right culture will have an advantage when it comes to attracting and keeping good employees (Main).

Employees should be rewarded at a high level to motivate even higher performance. The use of cash payouts could be used for on-the-spot recognition. These rewards have terrific motivational power, especially when given as soon as possible after the achievement. It’s important for employers to say “thank you” to employees for their efforts and find different ways to recognize them. Even something as simple as a free lunch can go a long way towards making employees feel valued.

When people work in a safety-oriented environment, they are free to focus on aspects of their jobs, and that’s what drives Milliken’s operations, says Charles Young, corporate safety manager for Milliken & Company.

Foster trust and confidence in senior leaders. Develop strong relationships with employees from the start to build trust (Stolz, 2008). Employees have to believe that upper management is competent and that the organization will be successful. An employer has to be able to inspire this confidence and make decisions that reinforce it. An employer cannot say one thing and do another. For example, an employer shouldn’t talk about quality and then push employees to do more work in less time. In addition, employers need to engage and inspire employees by enacting policies that show they trust them, such as getting rid of authoritarian style of management (Branham).

For the BMW Group, diversity is an asset and an enrichment. Because different cultural backgrounds and different experiences provide the foundation for innovation and lasting success.

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The biggest challenge I hear from my clients of all sizes in this year of economic growth and low unemployment is finding (and keeping) good workers. Unfortunately, that challenge looks to be more pressing for the foreseeable future.

Napa, CA
Heavy Construction – prime contractor
176 employees / 21 sites / 12 EHS Professionals

The BMW Group approach to implementing targets uses target ranges. Target ranges allow more flexibility than fixed quotas, but are nevertheless binding. 

Make employees feel valued. Employees will go the extra mile if they feel responsible for the results of their work, have a sense of worth in their jobs, believe their jobs make good use of their skills, and receive recognition for their contributions (Levoy).

“Safety is not first at Yaskawa, safety is in everything we do — before, during, and even after each process,” says David Thurwanger, EHS risk mitigation manager.

“We take every opportunity to ensure associates are well educated in safety policies, workplace hazards, and the hierarchy of controls,” he says. “We analyze every piece of equipment and every process to identify and control hazards. Yaskawa requires each associate to take an active role in safety.”

Overall, manufacturing is most concentrated in the northern and western suburbs of Chicago, with smaller clusters on the west side of the City of Chicago and its south suburbs. Latino communities have a significant presence in communities near these suburban manufacturing employment centers, for example in Waukegan, Elgin, and Aurora, which is a partial explanation for their high representation in the sector. White workers also live relatively close to manufacturing jobs in these suburbs, while African Americans live farthest. For example, neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago and Chicago’s southern suburbs have the highest concentrations of African Americans in the region, and these communities are also the most deindustrialized. Taking public transportation to manufacturing jobs is not easy—most work is out of the central business district of municipalities across the region. This likely contributes to the chronic lack of inclusion of black workers in the sector.

Data on job openings reveal its capacity for new and potentially more diverse hiring. There has been significant debate about the shortage of skilled workers in Chicago manufacturing and the existence of a so-called skills gap.5 Rather than engage in the debate in this report, our interest was to examine the number of job openings advertised in the region. Manufacturing remains a larger and more vibrant source of employment opportunity than conventional wisdom may suggest. Our analysis of job openings data—using the best available data for the region: proprietary data on job openings prepared by Burning Glass Technologies6—reveals that manufacturing remains a larger and more vibrant source of employment opportunity than conventional wisdom may suggest. Moreover, despite major changes in the methods of production used in the industry, Chicagoans can enter the manufacturing field even when a high school degree represents their highest level of formal education.

Figure 7 shows the unemployment rate by race/ethnicity in Cook County and the greater Chicago region in 2016. The unemployment rate for black or African Americans in Cook County was 15.5 percent compared to 7.3 percent for Hispanic or Latinos and 4.0 percent for whites. In the Chicago region, figures are similar, with the unemployment rate for black or African Americans of 14.6 percent, 6.9 percent for Hispanic or Latinos, and 4.1 percent for whites.

Assign someone to take the new employee under their wing, says Bill Peppler, managing partner of the staffing agency Kavaliro. “It could be someone who is in the same position as them or someone who started out in the new hire’s position,” he says. “Let them know they can come to this person with any concerns, for guidance, or just to have a friendly conversation.”

A big focus for us this year has been ownership of safety. Does the executive suite own it? Do supervisors? What about employees; how do they fit in? We realized that for the 13 winning applications, despite the diverse industries and sizes of companies, one message resonated loud and clear: Every employee at these companies – from the CEO to the newest hire – plays a role in safety, has ownership of safety.

“Ultimately, employees are capitalizing on the realities of the tight labor market – workers don’t see benefits for offering additional effort nor are they worried about getting penalized for doing less. The surplus of jobs open in the market is bolstering employee confidence as workers believe they can easily find another position.”

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Why? It’s because good people are a hot commodity nowadays and they simply want to earn more.

The BMW Group takes an holistic approach to the topic of equality to ensure appropriate representation of female staff in the workforce and management positions, in particular. For us, advancement of women begins with youth talent programmes. 

“Safety is the fundamental building block to creating Milliken’s high-performing, sustainable manufacturing operating system,” he says. “They can think about improving quality or machine performance, which in many instances, if we eliminate minor machine stops and breakdowns, we improve safety – which also improves efficiency. “

“The system is adaptive and scalable for many applications, such as inspecting aging bridges, dams and other structures supported by underwater foundations,” he says. “We are excited about the future of this system and its ability to improve safety for years to come.”

The BMW Group’s global commitment is not restricted to these areas, however. We never lose sight of the bigger picture – that all our staff must be free to develop their talents for new ideas to flourish and enable long-term success. This can only succeed in a working environment that is free of prejudices, with equal respect for all employees, regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnic background, religion, disability, age and sexual orientation. 

Losing Good Staff Local Manufacturing

To reduce musculoskeletal injuries, Valvoline developed a customized step stool for use in its quick lube business. The stool allows technicians better access to vehicle underbodies, limits awkward posture, over-reach situations and reduces ergonomic issues.

BMW has been a member of the Diversity Charter since 2012, which funds a large number of projects all across Germany dedicated to promoting diversity and tolerance.

“This required understanding is supported by the necessary participation in the process as well as a high level of encouragement of team ownership by the company,” Young says.

The definite impact of technology and the changing nature of production can be seen in this data. In factories where industrial robots and computer-controlled machine tools do much of the heavy lifting in production, front-line manufacturing jobs are changing. The most common skill today is quality assurance and control—which entails, in many cases, reviewing and monitoring what is produced through automated processes. Close behind it is repair, a job skill that will grow as the factory of the future includes more and more machines and automated labor. Similarly, the demand is growing for Computer Numerical Control skills: the technique for operating machine tools that create parts from raw materials using precise computer instructions.

Diversity is the engine of our success – today and in the future – because a diverse workforce is an important force for innovation.

“We take great pride in being a safe contractor and put our employees first. When safety is constantly talked about, promoted, and planned into work, a culture of safety begins to take place which has been the case for Nova for years,” says Cole Davis, corporate safety director. “Nova earns contracts by being the government’s best value contractor. Each project gets evaluated on specific areas, including safety, and receives a rating. Exceptional is what Nova always strives for and often receives.”