by Merrick Macomber, Chief Culture Officer

When I first got into modular construction, I became a true believer in the smarter, better solution it is for housing. It’s a great industry—an industry with purpose. It’s a great method with lots of advantages for workers too. So I had to ask myself why an industry that offered so much career potential wasn’t doing more to attract and retain great people. 


Fast forward to now, where Autovol has been named a Top Workplace for three straight years, with another big recognition about to be announced. It really all started with the simple question: Why not grow the industry by making an offsite factory a place that people would want to work at and not want to leave? Why not treat everyone like a real person? Why not create an environment where people are cherished, where they can grow, where they can find a sense of purpose?


If that all seems obvious, then consider a few stats. A recent employee engagement study showed that more than half of US workers are not engaged in their work. The U.S. will open 5 million manufacturing jobs over the next couple years. The average turnover rate in manufacturing is 40%. No surprise then that 77% of employers say retention will remain a major challenge in the coming years. 


In recent surveys, manufacturing is seen by many as outdated and uninventive. Yet look how manufacturing and construction are creating game-changing innovation and a new brand of workplace excitement! 


An appealing work environment isn’t just about fancy furniture, kegerators, and ping pong tables (we’ve had all three). The bigger thing is to create a family-like environment where everyone feels welcome and confident to build a career—a fun, happy environment that makes them look forward to coming to work.


Our industry has lots of advantages for building a family environment. We work in one place. We spend time together in comfortable facilities during breaks and beyond. Our way of doing business is so people friendly—why not fill our companies with friendly people. There are ways to do that. 


A caring culture begins by bringing positivity to each interaction. Every positive interaction has a ripple effect. The positivity spreads, the ideas grow, and soon you have something special where you work. Even better, your workplace can become a source of positivity beyond the company walls. And why not? A better working world can help make the world a better place. It can begin with each of us. Right here. Right now.


Merrick will be speaking on this topic at World of Modular on March 20. Hope to see you there!