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Workforce Retention Strategies for a Resilient Future in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry stands at a critical juncture, grappling with a formidable challenge — a continuously widening skills gap. As technological demands surge, manufacturers have already started to recognise that retaining skilled talent is as pivotal as acquiring it. 

According to research by Make UK, The Manufacturers' Organisation, a staggering 80% of UK manufacturers are fearful that the skills gap could delay their digitalisation endeavours. Here’s why focusing on retention strategies is vitally important for creating a sustainable future in the industry.

What’s happening in the manufacturing sector? 

Statistics vividly illustrate the difficulties ahead. There is a rapidly growing demand for modern practices and technology in manufacturing, heightening the need for more skilled workers. However, there is a significant and looming skills gap.

Make UK’s latest research reveals a stark reality—36% of manufacturing vacancies are challenging to fill due to applicants lacking the requisite skills, qualifications, or experience. This figure overshadows the 24% average rate across all other industries. It’s forecasted that there will be a staggering 74,000 unfilled vacancies in the UK alone in 2024, resulting in a £6.5 billion output gap.

The age demographic shift looming on the horizon exacerbates the industry’s challenges. By 2030, the ageing workforce will present a unique set of circumstances - baby boomers turning 85, gen-X-ers turning 65, and millennials turning 50. The manufacturing sector, facing an ageing workforce retiring in large numbers (57% reported employees reducing hours or taking early retirement), must grapple with the waning interest of younger generations and the expiration of programs aiming to bring new employees into the workforce.

Employee Retention Strategies for a Sustainable Future

💻 A Workforce Management Solution that Works 

The linchpin of employee retention lies in effective workforce management. Manufacturers must invest in streamlined time tracking, scheduling and performance monitoring to liberate their employees from wasting time following intricate processes.

A well-managed workforce translates to a content workforce, ultimately improving productivity.

🚀 Upskilling Initiatives

Acknowledging the skill gap head-on, manufacturing businesses should embrace upskilling initiatives. Industry giants like Amazon, with a £524 million upskilling investment, and Microsoft, who have committed to upskilling 25 million workers, exemplify a shift towards retraining the existing workforce.

Providing opportunities for skill development from within can bridge the skills gap often felt by the inability to recruit new talent. 

💪 Workplace Flexibility

Providing opportunities for job rotation, cross-training, and skill diversification allows employees to explore different roles and responsibilities within the production line or company. By offering diverse job experiences, manufacturers enhance job satisfaction, stimulate professional growth, and reduce the risk of burnout among employees.

Moreover, a flexible workplace demonstrates agility and innovation, giving manufacturers the power to respond effectively to changing market dynamics and technological advancements. 

❤‍🩹 Employee Relations and Wellbeing

Challenges arising from an ageing workforce and disinterest among younger generations necessitate a focus on positive employee relations and enhanced wellbeing. Addressing concerns about reduced hours or early retirements is more important than it ever has been within the sector.

A supportive and inclusive workplace becomes the bedrock for loyalty and commitment.

Empowering the Manufacturing Industry with HR Duo

Amid today's challenges, HR Duo stands tall as a steadfast solution for the manufacturing sector. We seamlessly blend cutting-edge workforce management software and HR expertise to present a dynamic platform to resolve the industry's most pressing issues:

  1. Efficient Workforce Management
    HR Duo's streamlined time tracking and scheduling capabilities empower manufacturers to navigate complex processes effortlessly, creating a content and focused workforce.

    In short; we take the hassle out of managing staff time. You'll easily identify absenteeism patterns, structure rotas, and seamlessly record work hours through various methods, including the convenience of our mobile app or advanced facial/biometric technology. 
  2. Strategic Upskilling
    With HR Duo, upskilling becomes a strategic initiative. Using the platform's tools to identify skills gaps to tailor upskilling programs that align with industry demands, ensuring a workforce equipped for the future.

    Manufacturing employees often require specific training and certifications to operate machinery or perform certain tasks safely. HR Duo can track employee training records, certifications, and renewal dates, ensuring that employees remain compliant and competent in their roles.
  3. Comprehensive HR Support
    HR Duo provides invaluable employee relations advice and a compliant ecosystem of documents, templates, and policies. This support helps manufacturers navigate the challenges posed by an ageing workforce, ensuring a secure, informed, and compliant HR environment.

    Our intuitive employee assistance program also offers counselling services, financial assistance, and support for personal and professional challenges demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being and resilience.

See it to believe it

Ready to experience the transformative power of HR Duo firsthand? Schedule your personalised demo today and unlock the potential of streamlined workforce management, strategic HR support, and unparalleled expertise.

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