SoloPoint Insights

How to Boost Employee Retention in Manufacturing Companies

In response to an aging labor force, a widening skills gap, and increasing resignation rates, the manufacturing industry is challenged by a shortage of skilled engineers in a highly competitive market. While attracting top talent can be difficult, retaining them is even more challenging. Here are reasons and strategies to improve employee retention in manufacturing companies:

Employer Challenges:

High turnover rates in the manufacturing industry have been steadily increasing, reaching  39.9% in 2021. This turnover carries significant costs, estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars annually. Training expenses further strain budgets, averaging $3,000 per hire and $1,500 per employee yearly. 

With 75% of manufacturing executives identifying talent retention as their primary business challenge, it’s clear that holding onto skilled employees is crucial in this fiercely competitive war for talent.

How? Here are the main drivers and strategies for retention in manufacturing: the top reasons employees stay with their current employer

  1. Work Enjoyment. Enjoying one’s job and feeling appreciated significantly helps reduce the chances of turnover intentions among employees. Here are some ways how…
    • Support Skill Alignment and Tech Innovation. When employees grasp that their work serves a meaningful purpose,  they are 2.7 times more likely to remain with a company. Assign engineers to projects that match their skills and interests, and foster innovation by providing access to cutting-edge technologies.
    • Employee recognition programs. Employee recognition programs enable team members to acknowledge each other’s successes, building camaraderie among peers, a sense of appreciation for hard work, and self-awareness of individual strengths.
    • Increase Employee Engagement. Foster a culture of collaboration by promoting employee-driven initiatives such as cross-functional teams, problem-solving groups, and team-building events. Also, encourage open communication,  and feedback channels by actively seeking and addressing employee concerns and suggestions.
  2. Stability/Job Security. Employee retention relies heavily on job security as secure employees are more likely to stay in a company. Implement ways that offer reassurances of their value. Here are some examples of what to offer…
    • Clear career pathways. Establish clear career pathways through regular performance reviews and goal-setting discussions with employees. This fosters a sense of value and commitment, enhancing employee retention.
    • Competitive salaries and merit-based increases. Recent data shows a significant increase in median pay for engineers across all sectors. However, attracting and retaining talent goes beyond salary alone.
    • Comprehensive benefits packages:  Employers who prioritize staff well-being and offer desirable benefits are positioned as desirable workplaces, effectively attracting and retaining top talent.
  3. Flexible work arrangements. A survey shows that 43% of workers achieve higher productivity, and 80% are more loyal to their companies when provided with flexible working arrangements. Examples of these setups include…
    • Flexible schedules. Manufacturing plants often operate on tight production timelines, limiting employees’ flexibility in schedule adjustments. Allow employees to adjust start and end times for personal needs or offer compressed workweeks like four 10-hour days.
    • Remote work options. Evaluate tasks that can be done remotely and offer remote work on certain project phases that don’t require physical presence.
    • Customized break schedules. Give the option to schedule breaks for well-being or consider providing longer break schedules to accommodate personal needs.
  4. Training and Career Opportunities. Encouraging employee learning boosts engagement and retention by up to 50%, especially with comprehensive career development programs including training, upskilling, and internal mobility. Such initiatives extend tenure by 60%. In addition, leadership development in manufacturing produces effective leaders through training and mentorship, enabling advancement within the organization.

At least 8 out of 10 employees who express satisfaction with their jobs are not only motivated to give their best but also likely to recommend their company as an excellent workplace. In a competitive labor market where qualified candidates are scarce, companies should invest in developing their current team members to fill the skills gap and gain a competitive advantage.

Enhance your engineering workforce and improve your retention rate by securing top-notch candidates through SoloPoint Solutions. Our dedicated staffing experts specialize in matching manufacturers with skilled Electrical, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineers who not only meet your technical requirements but also fit seamlessly into your company culture:

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