Manufacturing Retention

June 29, 2023

The manufacturing industry has an ever-growing gap in talent as the time to hire and the number of people retiring increases combined with the demand for upskilling to meet new technology standards.

“Workforce development is taking on increasing importance as manufacturers not only must fill more than 800,000 current openings but also define new careers involving robotics, automation and AI. Manufacturers are seeking people with the right skills for the advanced manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow and finding ways to upskill their current staff,” according to Manufacturing USA.

Hiring new employees is coming all the more challenging as time-to-hire rates have increased to an all-time high. As published in HRDive, “Jobs now take an average of 44 days to fill, up from 43 days a year ago, rising a full day across all industries during the first quarter of this year. Although some jobs can be filled in 14 days, many remain vacant for two or three months — or more.”

These trends are adding stress and pressure for HR teams already struggling to recruit and retain in the past five years as they battled the war on talent and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the workforce.

The manufacturing industry has long fought the misperception that workers are stuck in dark, dirty, and unsafe spaces. The reality is the manufacturing industry is one of the most advanced and exciting industries today with tremendous opportunities for young emerging talent.

This poor brand perception requires the manufacturing industry to work harder than others to create cultures that value upskilling, professional development and team engagement. Improving relationships with managers can help employees feel respected and valued, and it’s no secret that happy employees can be a company’s best recruitment tool.

Three tips for retaining a skilled workforce:

  • Ongoing Evaluations
    • Gone are the days of annual reviews. Manufacturers need to evaluate employees on a regular basis to keep them motivated and goal-oriented. This is an opportunity for managers to highlight an employee’s good work, as well as discuss challenges that could be impacting performance.
  • Professional Development
    • Professional growth isn’t just for management. If the manufacturing industry is going to fill talent gaps they need to focus on retention strategies which include upskilling. Managers should work with employees to establish professional goals, then develop a plan for achieving those goals through training programs, mentorship and more.
  • Culture
    • The manufacturing industry has to create a culture of learning that values employee growth. Employees need to feel comfortable talking to managers about their goals and trust that they will be supported to learn new skills for advancement and job security. Managers must establish a culture of celebration and team engagement to foster collaboration and improve employee morale.

Contact us today to learn more about our modern approach to performance management and development and how it solves for retention. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.