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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
6 ways manufacturers can support employees and reduce turnover

The manufacturing industry is currently facing a shortage of workers across the entire sector, and for individual companies, that often translates into hot competition for highly qualified employees. Unfortunately, even if you can attract talent initially, it's not always easy to retain it, because there are always strong offers out there for those who have experience.

The question, then, is what you can do to get a better handle on worker retention once you have brought them in? We have a few suggestions that should help:

1) Get a better understanding of why people leave

When someone is resigning from your company — whether to go to another business in the same industry or to leave the sector altogether — it helps to understand why, according to Fond. If in your exit interviews you hear about the same issues over and over, it's likely that this is a problem that is driving people away from your business, and gives you an action item to look for.

2) Tighten up worker safety

A manufacturing facility can, of course, be a dangerous place to work — or it can at least be perceived that way, Fond added. For that reason, you need to be highly conspicuous about your safety efforts and make sure your workers know you have their backs, especially if you use any hazardous materials in your facility. This starts with better safety training and more effective PPE.

3) Invest in development

Sometimes, workers in any industry will be more willing to move on from a current employer because they think they are stagnating in their current roles, according to Performance Solutions by Milliken. As a result, consider making skills development an organizational priority and make sure you're careful to promote from within whenever new positions open up.

4) Empower employees to speak up about issues they face

Your employees may feel that there is a pervasive or persistent issue that makes their jobs more difficult or has them dreading showing up to work every day, but that they can't bring it up with anyone, Performance Solutions by Milliken noted. Even if it's a note submitted anonymously, your workers should be assured their concerns will be heard and, if needed, addressed. Making this a highly conspicuous aspect of your management efforts should go a long way toward improving morale.

5) Crunch the numbers

Often, you might not even realize you have a problem with employee turnover until you sit down and look at the data, according to Engineered Mechanical Systems. If, over the course of a year, you tend to lose more employees than you bring in, the simple fact of understanding that can help you take a more comprehensive view of your situation.

6) Improve HR processes

Finally, it can be a good idea to make sure you have a robust human resources department that can continually monitor all of these issues and more, Engineered Mechanical Systems advised. This can assist in identifying problems before they present themselves in the form of worker dissatisfaction and, eventually, turnover.

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