7 Tips Boost Manufacturing Retention | Leadership Training

7 Key Strategies to Boost Manufacturing Employee Retention

Published on by Austin Helmer in Manufacturing

7 Key Strategies to Boost Manufacturing Employee Retention
  Reading time 5 minutes

Like every other industry, manufacturing is struggling to recruit and retain employees, and there’s no end. We dug into what’s driving the issues manufacturers are facing in the 2023 Manufacturing Compensation and Benefits Study reveal event (you can watch on-demand or review the top 10 takeaways for more) – but how do you address the challenge in a meaningful way?

Universal Robots published Manufacturing a Better Workplace: 7 Innovative Initiatives to Attract and Retain Manufacturing Talent in January, and it’s packed with excellent ideas and insights that can help manufacturers thrive. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights.

1. Let the people do meaningful work.

When it comes down to work – what we perform on a day-to-day basis – it’s got to be meaningful to you personally to get and keep you motivated. A Manufacturing Institute study shows that enjoying your work was a top motivator, cited by 83% of respondents.

2. Train your leaders.

We’ve all heard the maxim that people don’t leave jobs – they leave managers. Training your leaders to lead effectively can improve both the workplace environment and retention over the long term: Managers and supervisors carry a strong responsibility to their teams and their development, and training them to do that job well shapes effective leaders and builds employee engagement, job satisfaction, and motivation.

3. Boost employee involvement.

When it comes to getting (and keeping) employees engaged, several strategies show big benefits: managed teams, problem-solving committees, workgroups, task forces, and workplace ambassadors are all ways to get more employees involved and engaged. Have a business challenge? Put together a team and ask them to solve it.

4. Help your people grow.

Ensure employees not only have on-the-job training, but career development training. Cross- or peer-training, participation in development programs or planning of career paths, and ensuring the workplace stays up-to-date when it comes to technology and machinery enables employees to focus on their personal growth.

5. Recognize employees’ efforts.

Recognizing and rewarding good work, new ideas and innovations, great teamwork, and other positive contributions to the business boost morale, enhance job satisfaction, and ultimately help you build better employee retention. And because you’re never going to see everything, ensure there are tools in place for employees to nominate themselves or others for recognition. Share successes at company meetings, in newsletters or email updates, on your intranet – any mechanism you use to communicate companywide is a great platform for sharing success.

6. Build communities.

Building communities creates a friendlier workplace environment for employees and makes communication more open for everyone, where they feel connected, engaged, and seen. Consider team-building exercises that aren’t work-related but encourage everyone to talk with one another and voice their own opinions on different ideas. Feeling a sense of connection and community is an incredibly powerful motivator for people to do their best work, be their best selves, and stay with your organization.

7. Create an age-inclusive workplace.

Keeping up with younger and older generations at the same time can be challenging, but having both allows for amazing growth. The older generation holds valuable knowledge and expertise that can help the younger generation grow and thrive. A great strategy is to find ways to reduce repetitive and strenuous tasks for the older generation and enable a more flexible work hour – this creates the opportunity to tap into their knowledge base and share it with the next generation – making it a win-win-win.

Let’s talk.

Ensure your compensation and benefits are competitive in our region with the 2023 Manufacturing Compensation and Benefits Study, which you can download now. If you want a summary (and the keynote we talked about earlier in this post), you can watch on-demand or review the top 10 takeaways – including what competing with free cheeseburgers actually means. If you’re looking for new ways to build your manufacturing company, create new smart strategies to help your business thrive, or minimize your tax burden, the Barnes Dennig team of top manufacturing pros is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation.


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