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Manufacturing Employee Retention Strategies

Retaining Manufacturing Employees

Employee Retention in Manufacturing Sector

Employee turnover has long been, and will increasingly be, a major concern to the manufacturing industry. While the need for a low-cost workforce remains, innovative technology continues to transform the talent profile and minimum competencies across the manufacturing companies. To succeed in this economic environment, manufacturers must apply employee retention strategies that are flexible, scalable, and easy to enforce. Consider a few manufacturing realities:

  • Since 2014, the rate of employee turnover in Manufacturing has risen steadily, reaching 16.1% last year
  • Manufacturing companies who focus on the employee experience have turnover rates around 7.2 %
  • Workers of 24 years old or younger have a turnover rate of 66%

Millennial Turnover on Production & Assembly Lines

Losing skilled employees is one of the biggest costs in manufacturing and cannot be ignored. The future of manufacturing will depend on how well businesses engage and retain young incoming talent. Currently, workers of 24 years old or younger have a turnover rate of 66%. Those aged 25-34 are right behind them and leaving their jobs at a rate of 31%. The turnover rate rose sharply in 2017 with flocks of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age and Millennials (age 22-37) job-hopping. With a shrinking pool of skilled workers, this trend is likely to continue.


Barriers to Retaining Manufacturing Employees

Factory and manufacturing businesses can no longer rely on good pay, good hours and job security to keep workers. Some major causes of the turnover in manufacturing include emotional exhaustion, safety concerns, and poor appreciation/recognition, and working conditions. Manufacturing leaders are at a crossroads. Since fewer employees will want to get into these positions, we must act quickly to retain the talented workforce we do have.


How to Reduce Employee Turnover in Manufacturing

The challenges faced to retain employees in the manufacturing sector are real and not getting easier. The work remains rigorous while the workforce changes their needs, wants, and expectations from their employer. Despite these constraints, the advanced manufacturer’s future is bright. Ensure your organization’s growth alongside it by investing in the people that create those quality products in 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Retention Diagnostic: Get prioritized recommendations with a data-driven Retention Diagnostic. This will identify the areas where your organization excels, where it can focus, and all the “noise” to ignore. Retensa comes onsite to focus on the issues you can control. To reduce turnover at your firm, you need to know the root causes of low morale, high absenteeism, or disengagement. You will also get specific, clear and actionable recommendations to retain the people who produce more, with fewer mistakes, and less scrap. Those high-performing plant workers are in demand. Find out how to recruit and retain them now.
  2. Exit Interviews: Start with actionable intelligence from Exit Interviews. Using a third party like Retensa to conduct exit interviews creates the safety net people need to avoid burning bridges and be really honest about why they are leaving. Survey findings could reveal a host of actionable recommendations related to new equipment, more time off, or process improvements that make working easier. Asking the right questions can pinpoint the root causes for high turnover at your plant and prepare strategies to help increase retention today.
  3. Retention Skills Training: Provide Retention Skills Training so factory and plant managers have the tools they need to retain and engage their best employees right away. Retensa provides retention programs based on customized insights from what your employees say they want and need from your organization. Managers who know how to listen and treat people with dignity signal to employees that the organization cares just as much about their well-being as they do factory profits. Invest in a training that is customized to the needs of your specific employee population will allow you to retain your top-producing employees.


Don’t let turnover at your plant continue. Get proactive. Call us now at (212) 545-1280. You can also email a retention expert here.