News, Insights and Best Practices for Manufacturing in Mexico

Shelter companies help create a culture of teamwork

06 Sep 2013

Category: Labor & Economics, Manufacturing in Mexico

When a manufacturer decides to offshore its production process to Mexico, it may worry that its culture of collaboration may not translate to the new factory. The production environment relies on teamwork between employees to produce quality products and maintain a safe workplace. Team building is also crucial to an efficient workforce and employee retention, yet it can be difficult for manufacturers to encourage a culture of teamwork if the company didn't partner with an experienced shelter company for its maquiladora in Mexico. The Mexican workforce is highly skilled in fabrication, yet manufacturers often need help managing its employees to foster teamwork among in the workplace.

Here are three ways shelter companies are able to aid a manufacturer in creating a culture of teamwork after expanding to Mexico:

1. By merging the two cultures
Industry Week suggested companies looking to begin fostering teamwork to start the process by defining and communicating the business' core goals to the workforce. Doing this helps align the entire workforce with the vision of the company, but when manufacturers expand to Mexico, their goals may not translate due to cultural differences.

According to ICD Coatings, a color coating manufacturer, any time there are multiple cultures in the workplace, it is important to merge them and understand the unique aspects of each. Offshoring the production process can be tricky when U.S. businesses don't employ a shelter company, and often what works to foster teamwork in the U.S. may not work in Mexico. Shelter companies are skilled in walking the divide between American and Mexican culture, understand the psychological differences between the two and are knowledgeable on how Mexican employees work best. According to ICD Coatings, it can be hard for manufacturers to bridge the gap between differing cultures even in a U.S. factory, so it can be beneficial for businesses to employ another company that truly understands and is experienced in doing so specifically in Mexico. 

2. On-site personnel
Whenever issues arise among members of the workplace, it helps to have management on the ground to mediate the situation. Challenges can erupt for a number of reasons, but strong leadership can diffuse the situation if they understand how to do so. According to Industry Week, continuous leadership and skills training helps managers be more effective, but these abilities are often of no use if the supervisor is in a different country or doesn't understand cultural differences. 

Shelter companies handle human resources management for U.S. businesses. From coordinating fun activities to counseling the workforce when disagreements occur, shelter companies are perfectly suited to creating a culture of collaboration and teamwork because they are on-site and experienced in Mexican labor practices.

3. Consistency
Perhaps one of the most important ways to build teamwork in the workplace is to be consistent with team-building initiatives, according to Industry Week. However, U.S. businesses may have trouble sticking with a team-building schedule if they don't have managers on the ground who are experienced in the most effective types of activities and who understand the importance of consistency.

Shelter companies are on-site, so it is much easier for them to facilitate educational activities and monitor employee performance than if management was solely at the manufacturer's U.S. headquarters. In fact, issues may not be communicated to the business if the company doesn't use shelter services, making it more difficult to consistently encourage teamwork among employees. Companies that assist in the offshoring process are also able to survey workers on a frequent basis to understand how staff members are feeling and identify workforce areas that may need to be improved. 

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