How to Use Signage to Engage Employees In Your Manufacturing Facility

by Drue Townsend

The working environment of a manufacturing facility is unique. It can include a combination of massive structures, dangerous equipment, hard work and employee camaraderie. A cohesive visual communication strategy is important in protecting, fostering and improving that environment. Because of the potential dangers of manufacturing facilities, proper signs and visual graphics are required by law. But investing in engaging manufacturing signage can improve employee performance and morale while reinforcing company culture.

“Danger” manufacturing sign
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Many manufacturing facilities can be dangerous work areas. Large-scale operations involve employees operating high-performance machines that require close attention to detail. With such little room for error, regulatory signage must be up to date and posted prominently. OSHA regulations require signs to have appropriate size, color, language and readability. Consistency in safety signage establishes a uniform environment and encourages positive safety behavior.


Large facilities with multiple levels and wings may be confusing for new employees and visitors. Wayfinding signage ensures safe and accurate navigation through your manufacturing facility. Manufacturing signs and visual graphics also create a cohesive environment that can be relied on during emergency situations.

Employee Performance

Andrew Carnegie’s book, “How To Win Friends & Influence People,” tells how Charles Schwab used manufacturing signage in the early 20th century to motivate employees. Schwab asked his daytime employees how many units of steel, called heats, they produced that day. When they told him “six,” he wrote the number on the floor. The night shift employees answered with a “7” drawn that night, starting a rivalry that spurred production for Schwab’s steel business.

Schwab’s strategy motivated and united his workforce. Similar visual graphics are useful a century later. Consider posting competitive signs in your manufacturing facility to foster teamwork and pride. Posting daily messages recognizing consecutive days without an accident can motivate employees to go the extra mile to avoid safety hazards.

Company Culture

Reward employees and reinforce your company culture with entertaining visual graphics in break rooms. Digital signs provide the opportunity for customizable messaging and employee interaction. Motivational or humorous quotes can be changed daily. Interactive digital kiosks for games or trivia can provide entertainment and mental recharging.

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Keeping them safe and engaged is top priority, and an effective sign and visual graphics plan is key way in creating an environment your company and employees can be proud of. Let us know what signs your facility uses to keep things safe and fresh. Tweet us @FASTSIGNS or post photos on our Facebook page.