To Weave a Great Workforce, First You Have to Spin a Good Yarn

Storytelling is essential to attracting, retaining and aligning the talent you need.

Here’s a simple little secret to winning the talent game: Great people want to work for great companies.

The good news is that many manufacturers today really are pretty great. They have the right blend of technology and innovation to inspire the highly skilled leaders of tomorrow. But the question is … Does anybody know it? Feel it? Believe it? Remember it?

This is where storytelling makes all the difference.

Digital marketing is a great resource for connecting with the next generation of talent. But let’s face it: manufacturers today need help bringing out the right story to share over those channels. Every company, even a B2B manufacturer, has a story to tell – about their reason for being, about what they do differently, about what they care about most.

So how do you develop and share your story? Based on a presentation I gave recently at the Innovation and Emerging Plastics Technologies Conference at Penn State Erie, here are three keys to effective storytelling for manufacturers. Picture1

  • Define your culture and brand. Your culture is more than just a competitive advantage; it’s the biggest factor in whether a prime candidate will choose you. A clearly established brand helps candidates self-select so that you can build your strongest workforce. Even better, it allows your employees to get behind you and help you win, as this Industry Week article points out.
  • Develop a story idea that has impact. Drive conversations that people want to join. Show why your company matters; otherwise, good talent will look to your competitors. Take Donnelly Custom Manufacturing, for example. Their newsroom doesn’t just show new products and company news; it proves to the industry that they know How Short Run is Done.
  • Create and follow a plan. Once you’ve defined your culture, it’s up to you to share that with potential employees. Are you a highly innovative company on the shop floor? Use PR, social media and digital marketing to show it. By doing so, you build reputation as an industry leader. Aubright, for example, recently renamed and rebranded and continues to carry out a robust plan encompassing a new website, a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy and more to show prospects what they’re all about.

Ultimately, manufacturers must realize that whoever wins the war for talent wins the game. It’s more important than ever to think like a marketer – and keep telling a story that sets you apart.

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