Hesitancy can hold a business back, and in manufacturing, the majority of bosses in the industry are aware of the importance of leadership but still sometimes struggle to provide an effective platform to nurture it.

The importance of successfully managing manufacturing departments and their teams is well known among senior teams and boards, however many are still concerned over the current state of available headship skills.

What is headship in business?

Headship is used to refer to a position of a leader or chief and within this, there is a selection of skills which can ensure they are able to best perform in this role. Typically, those who are best equipped with headship skills will be able to think strategically, have the capability to develop positive relationships and ensure that they can confidently put their faith in their teams to carry-out tasks effectively.

Barriers to leadership

There is a huge array of capable and effective leaders already in the manufacturing industry, however, hesitancy is seemingly holding them back. Senior leaders who have the capability to be inspirational and possess the capability to guide their staff to ensure effective control and ensure high levels of productivity. Leadership training can allow already experienced and highly talent leaders to understand how to best utilise their existing skills and help them to get the most out of their workforce to ensure optimum results.

The need for effective leaders has never been greater due to the expedited rate that technology is developing and requires knowledge management to ensure its proper implementation. Due to these new developments, the manufacturing industry is now in a transitional period and strong management is needed to ensure that businesses in the sector can still exact the implementation of a successful operational excellence strategy.

Due to knowledge gaps in the current manufacturing leadership teams, there needs to be quick and effective learning which aims to implement real and positive change. From approaches such as business simulations and experiential learning to microlearning to help bridge gaps using short bursts of information. Team leader training, workplace leadership courses and dedicated management learning can all support in building better and more capable leaders to ensure a manufacturing business can remain competitive and productive.

Building better leaders

Recent reports into the quality of leadership within manufacturing revealed that 63% of participants consider their leaders to be less than high quality and simply not equipt to deal with the future. Those with effective leaders noticed that their key qualities included the ability to develop quality products, push for an emphasis on buyer relationships, optimise efficiency and place a large focus on service.

The most effective leaders in the industry typically have a great handle on efficiency. In manufacturing, this is crucial to being able to deliver to clients the right product at the right time, to a quality that is expected. The best leaders will build their success by managing profitably whilst also identifying options for product ranges, but should also have the capability to inspire their team to do so too. The capability to constantly question the processes in place without compromising on profit, deliverability or employee satisfaction is the key to finding the right balance in a manufacturing workplace.