The manufacturing industry is often cited as an extremely challenging space for any HR to work in. From recruiting, addressing injuries, and retaining to training, overcoming mundane work culture, and engaging the employees, challenges at the workplace affect a company’s overall culture and productivity.
The manufacturing industry is vast, dynamic, and diverse, so it is more susceptible to challenges and technological disruptions than other industries. What’s more, this industry is in continuous flux because of changing technologies and demographics.
Let’s look at the top 6 challenges faced by HRs in the manufacturing industry and how to overcome them.
1. Shortage of workers
The manufacturing industry is reeling under the effect of a shortage of workers for several reasons, like the misconception in the minds of young professionals that this sector lacks compelling wages, sophistication, and innovation. Thus, HR must address this problem of a shortage of workforce. The teams must find the best ways possible to replenish the human capital required by the organization.
Manufacturing industries should also emphasize recruiting millennials because they have good technical skills and knowledge. Millennials stigmatize the manufacturing sector as an outdated and slow career option that doesn’t go well with their idea and passion for new technologies.
HR should offer attractive salary packages and other perks to the millennials so that they develop an interest in the manufacturing sector and start working in it once again. Once they gain that confidence, the workforce shortage problem will eventually subside.
2. Minimizing injuries of workers and safety incidents
Manufacturing employees are in danger of industrial accidents and injuries due to their involvement with the planers, machines, lathes, and other production tools and equipment. Also, as in battery manufacturing, workers who work with dangerous chemicals are exposed to lead.
Falls and trips are also common threats in the manufacturing industry. The employees are at high risk when they work on ladders, cherry pickers, high platforms, and other elevated platforms.
Also, noise from the machines can harm their ears when exposed to loud sounds for an extended period.
HR in the manufacturing industry must hire and retain skilled employees that can operate machines effectively and, thus, minimize accidents. Further, companies should train workers in first aid to help others and themselves in emergencies. Another solution for HR in the manufacturing sector is that the companies should conduct training activities that are focused on safety at the workplace, like operating the machinery safely, avoiding injuries and accidents, and minimizing harm in case of accidents. Lastly, the industry must have a supervisor on the ground to check if all safety procedures are carefully followed.
“Promoting worker safety goes beyond just the safety manual or handbook. It’s really about creating a culture that’s committed to [and] very much focused on safety and accountability. It’s about preventing, reducing, or eliminating the severity or claim before it ultimately happens.” – Brian Kramer, Manufacturing Industry Practice Leader, The Hartford
3. Low employee engagement
Another challenge the manufacturing industry HR faces is the need for more employee engagement. This is one of the most significant reasons for high turnover rates in the manufacturing sector. So by following the right employee engagement strategy, the industry can benefit from the increase in productivity. As the manufacturing sector is labor-oriented, it may be hard for the employees to maintain that work-life balance.
The HRs should regularly ensure that there are various employee engagement activities within the company so that the workers do not feel demotivated. Also, there must be a reward for the achievements. HR challenges in the manufacturing units do not just end at training and development; the workplace needs to be supportive and engaging as per the needs of the employees. The employee relationship and work culture are significant in overall employee engagement.
There is also a need to allow flexibility to employees for personal necessities and work-life balance.
4. Retaining workers
Most HR departments in the manufacturing industry face the real challenge of retaining employees and specialized talent. Employee retention is one of the most crucial issues in the manufacturing industry. The HR department must ensure that the workers are retained through better engagement, perks, good salaries, easy work culture, a safe work environment, and more. When employees see these benefits, they will feel secure and not think of changing the organization or industry.
HR must provide horizontal job options that may be less physically demanding so that the seniors are encouraged to stay in the company. It is also important to encourage the seniors to take benefit of the digital training that your firm provides so that they have the skills as per the latest trends and changes.
5. Training the employees
HR also needs to provide proper training to their employees so that they can be updated with the latest developments. The HR professionals must focus on training the employees to stay ahead in the competition and to keep the staff motivated. It is also crucial for HR to offer adequate training to keep the employees updated with the latest developments in the industry and to prepare them for challenges. Training and development are critical in enhancing personal and professional growth and creating excellent employee satisfaction and stimulation. Besides the much-needed changes required in recruitment, employee retention, and worker engagement, effective training and development are at the top of the list of things that HR must focus on in the manufacturing industry to stay competitive in the global marketplace.
6. Challenges in recruiting new workers
Recruitment and staffing are important parts of any organization. It has been seen that 80 percent of manufacturers recognize the importance of meeting workforce demands over the next 5 years. The challenges posed by recruiting within the manufacturing industry are deep-rooted. To address these issues, the manufacturing HR department should learn to compete with other sectors and start filling gaps.
The HR department manages employee-related activities such as payroll management, recruitment, and employee development. As HR is the heart of every company, small and medium enterprises need help managing HR functions. Many organizations outsource the support or secondary work to external vendors, enabling them to focus on the primary business. Outsourcing recruiting of workers is also done so that the best of the workforce is recruited.
7. Managing attendance and shifts of workers
Another challenge that the HR department in the manufacturing industry face is managing the shift and attendance of workers. Due to a lack of employee engagement, injuries, and retention issues, employees show up less, and there is a discrepancy in managing the shift and attendance. To overcome this challenge, Truein is a fantastic platform that helps in managing the attendance of workers. This allows the HR department to handle the workforce effectively. Also, the system helps to avoid irregularities like wrong clock-in, buddy punching, overtime calculation errors, etc. With this, HR can also reduce the late coming of employees and unplanned absenteeism and thus increase overall workforce productivity. There are over 70 customizable policies that help in boosting workforce productivity.
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Truein further helps in leave management, approval for leaves, and notifications happen within the Truein system. The attendance system easily syncs with everything; even month-end calculations are like a breeze. Last but not least, with Truein, HR can optimize workforce utilization with job mapping, weekly off rotations, and automatic shift scheduling.
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So, we hope we have helped you with the possible solutions you can take to overcome the common manufacturing industry HR challenges. Schedule a free demo today and see how Truein can help your organization with automated attendance capturing, shift scheduling and leave management.