The Manufacturing & Industrial team at Versique recently hosted a networking event for some local manufacturing companies where the topic of discussion revolved around something that is becoming an epidemic for all companies:
How do you attract and retain hourly employees?
Limited Talent Pool
There were business professionals spanning all levels within an organization from President to Talent Acquisition sitting in a room discussing what they are seeing from this employee pool. There was talk about everything from not being able to find people that could pass a drug screen to people just not showing up for day two.
Everyone offered great insight about how their company has experienced this and some attempts they have made to solve it. I was amazed at the amount of “outside the box” thinking that is happening right now surrounding this topic. Some companies have tried offering more part-time roles to meet the desire of a more flexible schedule, while others are making jobs a little more cross-functional in order to combat some of the monotony. Some of the strategies have worked, while others have not worked so well.
Building a Solution
My biggest takeaway from the conversation is that what I heard was very different from what I expected to hear. I was expecting the blame to be cast towards the employees and for discussion to focus on the problems with the workforce. How the pool of potential employees needs to mature and understand that the “real world” doesn’t move as fast as they want it to.
What I did hear, was people discussing how leadership needs to change their approach to this pool of candidates and employees. The Supervisors and front-line leaders need to be better trained in how to create an environment where their employees feel valued and appreciated. How to take the time to connect with individual team members, find out their motivations and how to better reach them. Maybe it is finding creative ways in which to reward employees and creating pride in where they work, or maybe it is just as simple as asking for their input?
I was happy to hear this type of approach to solving this issue. Manufacturing has always been thought of as “old-school” in how they do things, that they are stuck in the ways of the past. From what I heard during our conversation, I believe manufacturing companies are creating a new and fresh approach to attract and retain their employees for a long time.
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