You want to keep your manufacturing employees, but you can't afford to keep raising their salaries. Sound familiar? If so, the good news is that there are ways to increase retention without touching those paychecks. Here are eight ideas to get you started:
1) Develop a brand
Your brand may be mostly customer-facing, but it doesn't have to be. Employees like to know they're a vital part of your manufacturing company — and one great way to show them that is to give them a role in your brand. Post interviews on social media, use photographs of their work for blog posts, use their ideas whenever possible — the options are virtually endless.
2) Treat education as a benefit
On-the-job education is valuable — and not all companies offer it. To make this feel like a huge benefit for your employees, make sure they get both professional and personal value from manufacturing training. Also consider adding tuition reimbursement to your list of benefits to further encourage workers to stick around.
3) Support the whole person
Loralie Thostenson, senior vice president and technology talent officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance, told CIO Magazine that it often helps to "recognize that people are multidimensional — and [...] support the whole person" when striving for employee loyalty. This could mean offering child care, providing a more supportive work environment, investing in team-building exercises and more.
4) Talk — and listen
Having open conversations with employees is vital. It allows you to catch little problems before they become big ones — and it can give you some creative ideas to boost retention, too.
5) Create employee personas
Imaginasium recommends creating employee personas to help you generalize the needs and goals of your workforce. Although generalization isn't often your friend when it comes to retention, this type of work will help you identify and understand trends among your manufacturing employees.
6) Don't use cookie-cutter solutions
Cookie-cutter solutions are the type of answers you turn to when you don't really know what your employees want. They'll feel that — so when deciding how to retain workers, make sure to customize your approach to the real people in your manufacturing organization.
7) Provide unique engagement opportunities
Workers are more likely to stay at a job where they feel engaged. To make sure that happens, you might need to get creative — for example, by giving employees the opportunity to pitch new ideas for your brand, organize community outreach programs and more.
8) Make manufacturing meaningful
At the end of the day, you can't force employees to love their manufacturing jobs. However, you can help them with that by seeking to inspire them every day. Make your workplace a positive, encouraging atmosphere where people feel they're making a real difference — whether for the company, their coworkers, their leaders or even just themselves.