Keeping Your MFG Talent

The story of the talent shortage in Michigan manufacturing is two-fold.

The first challenge, one of talent acquisition, is a narrative the industry has been grappling with for years. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this challenge with increasing competition between retailers and manufacturers for higher hourly rates and better benefits. After developing strategies to support a stable pipeline of workers, the second challenge comes in the form of retention. Once you acquire a good employee, what are the benefits, opportunities and best practices companies are using to keep their people long term?

This challenge has been further complicated with what is being called “The Great Resignation,” as millions of workers across the U.S. have decided to explore new careers in the wake of COVID-19. Nationwide, the top reason employees give for leaving their jobs is burnout. A survey of 1,000 workers conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based management consulting firm, found that 57 percent of U.S. employees say they are burned out with their current position. Both Millennials and women report higher levels of burnout, as do employees with school-age kids who are remotely learning from home.

Conversely, the top reason for employees staying in their positions boils down to a very simple concept — feeling valued.

“We have annual picnics for the staff, we provide employees with turkeys for Thanksgiving and we host Christmas parties for the employees’ children...These are all ongoing and only some of the efforts established to let our employees know we appreciate them and their families. Additionally, we celebrate the great work the team is doing with safety and attendance lunches.”

This article appeared in the September 2021 issue of MiMfg MagazineRead the full issue.

This is the second of a two-part series looking at manufacturing’s skilled labor gap in Michigan. Check out the first article on the MMA Blog.