The Great Resignation may have one big result — a stack of two-week notices on your desk — but that doesn't mean it looks the same in every situation. This is especially true in manufacturing, where workers with different positions and backgrounds may have different reasons for considering an exit strategy.
No matter why employees are leaving, it's smart to understand their motivations before they have the chance to reach the door. Here are a few types of manufacturing employees during The Great Resignation and how to handle each.
1) The one leaving for personal reasons
Guest writer Elizabeth Christopher told Huffpost about her own experience during The Great Resignation in an opinion piece, saying, "I wanted to be as engaged in my job as I was in my volunteer work at a local arts center." Christopher ended up leaving, as many employees do, for this reason and more: family life, personal stress and dissatisfaction with the flexibility offered by many professional positions.
Your manufacturing employees may be facing similar struggles. If they're considering joining The Great Resignation for personal reasons, you may want to give them the flexibility and support necessary to address those needs without feeling like they have to quit.
2) The Gen Z worker
In a survey of research from multiple industry leaders, including Adobe and Microsoft, Forbes found that between 54% and 77% of Gen Z employees are daydreaming about that infamous two-week notice.
No matter how many Gen Z workers you have in your manufacturing company, it's important to understand their unique approach to the professional environment. For example, they may be likely to quit if they feel your values don't align with their own, or if your company consistently fails to prioritize social responsibility. Keep this in mind when developing strategies to retain younger workers.
3) The one who's on the fence
Not every employee wants to quit during The Great Resignation. In fact, some may remain on the fence about quitting, convinced by peers that there are better opportunities on the job market but hesitant to make the switch.
This is good news for you; it means you have the opportunity to win these employees back before they leave for good. Try starting open conversations with workers who have expressed interest in moving on. Find out which needs aren't being met, what they hope to find in a different position and how you can offer these things yourself.
4) The loyal employee
Some of your manufacturing workers may be perfectly happy right where they are. For example, they may have healthy families, a satisfactory work-life balance and no outstanding personal struggles, making them content with their current positions.
Your only job in this scenario is to hold onto loyal employees. Don't risk letting them be swept in by The Great Resignation; instead, reward their hard work and convince them that they've made the right choice by staying put. Other employees will see this, too, and they may be less likely to quit once they know how much you value their presence.