As the world begins to recover and return to a “new” normal, people are reassessing what is important and valuable to them. They now have different opportunities and more career choices to consider, with the U.S. Department of Labor reporting a record 9.3 million job openings as of the latest tally.* Additionally, according to a recent report by job site Monster.com, 95 percent of workers are now considering changing jobs, and 92 percent are even willing to switch industries to find the right position.*
So how do employers respond to this talent turnover tsunami, create a better place to work, and become (and remain) the employer of choice? They are having to carefully examine their workforce recruitment and retention strategies to be successful moving forward.
Here are four things you can do to create a plan for your manufacturing plant that will attract and retain employees:
- Find employable candidates: Engage in alternative workforce development pipelines, including Second Chance programs, Work Based Learning, and Apprenticeships. Leverage your relationships with local high schools, technical colleges, or universities for rising talent that you can mentor. Decide if you should incorporate co-ops or paid internships into your company, allowing you to groom talent for future long-term employment. Look to veterans leaving the military with applicable leadership and collaborative skills that will translate well at your company. The Georgia Tech Veterans Resource Center is a great place to access personnel seeking employment. Also, embrace flexibility. Companies that adopt a hybrid work model and hire a mix of permanent and contract talent can enjoy the benefits of improved staff morale, better performance, and access to a deeper and more diverse candidate pool.**
- Get these employees off to a good start: Developing a talent pipeline is not a short-term project. It takes vision and commitment. Meet with your team on how to best present your organization and the employment opportunities you are providing. Be transparent with potential candidates so they know exactly what the job entails. Then commit to a structured training plan for a certain period of time with new hires. Have consistent check-ins or debriefs within your process to make sure they are comfortable in their new roles. Are they confused, frustrated, happy? This can be as easy as creating a buddy system with routine, informal meetings to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening.
- Keep them from leaving: Creating a culture of organizational excellence is a multi-step process that must be continually refined. Listen to employees needs and act on that feedback in a timely manner. You can provide career counseling, mentorship opportunities, and conduct employee surveys. Creating a community that is less a job and more a team trying to achieve the same goal together will help you proactively control potential turnover. The key is to engage with your employees on a regular basis because yesterday’s needs won’t necessarily be today’s. Read our blog post titled Own the Skills Gap: Workforce Readiness Starts with You for three examples of companies who have been successful in nurturing employees and building a company of choice.
- Create a long term plan for staffing: Nearly 1 in 3 professionals (31 percent) say they had a shift in perspective due to the pandemic and prefer to work for an organization that better aligns with their personal values.** Most successful companies have development plans for executives, managers, and engineers, but the companies with the highest employee engagement have personal development plans for every person in the organization. Examples include:
- Placing your most valuable people in the most rewarding jobs. This makes them happy and uses them effectively.
- Look to use technology and automation to add productivity enhancements to keep your business running, which can also create a new career path for someone to manage this technology.
- Recognition makes people feel valued. Keep top performers engaged and fill the gaps to reduce workforce burnout by reallocating talent in creative and strategic ways.
- Create “stay” interviews to engage with employees and provide insights on career goals and advancement.
By investing in your current workforce and creating a culture of organizational excellence, you can attract the new talent you are seeking and retain employees that are the best fit for your long-term company goals.
By: Raine Hyde, Marketing Strategist, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership