Attracting and Retaining Top Factory Employees

manu-job-276x183Manufacturers are facing big problems when it comes to recruiting enough top tier factory workers, but there’s a fix few employers think about—#workflex.

Those employers who implement more flexibility on their factory floors are finding workflex is helping them attract and retain top talent. This topic will be front and center during an upcoming session at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual conference later this month in Las Vegas. (See SPECIAL CONFERENCE OFFER BELOW.)

Why should you attend?

With the aging of the manufacturing workforce, employers are looking to the next generation of employees to take on good manufacturing jobs, but this has been challenging for many.

Indeed, a new report by SHRM found recruitment problems are on the rise:

A net of 35 percent of manufacturing respondents had more difficulty with recruiting in April [2015], an increase of 12.5 points from April 2014.

Clearly, attempts by the industry to shore up interest in production jobs needs a boost, and smart employers have found creating more flexible workplaces is a strategy leading to recruitment gains and to better retention of the best employees.

So, what do employees want, especially Millennials? Work-life fit, proclaimed a just released report by EY.

Flexibility on the job, even for factory employees, is more important than ever. And while many production employers just can’t see how it’s possible, if they don’t change their mindset, they risk ending up at a competitive disadvantage.

To help manufacturers realize the dream of workflex in their factories, researchers at Families and Work Institute (FWI) spent the past year interviewing companies across the country to find out how they implemented more flexibility into what have long been seen as inflexible jobs.

The result is a free guide: Workflex and Manufacturing Guide: More Than a Dream.

FWI and SHRM will be bringing the Guide to life at the upcoming annual conference, with a preconference session on June 28. It’s a meeting of the minds you won’t want to miss, offering real strategies and best practices from manufacturers who are changing the rules and trend-spotting research from thought leaders in the field.

The session will include FWI experts and manufacturers who are implementing workflex successfully and will offer practical advice on how to make changes that work for their production environments and how they can end up with increased productivity—and a workplace that’s seen as a great place to work and not rigid when it comes to inevitable work-life needs.

Workflex is more than telecommuting! It can be small scheduling tweaks or child care programs or wholesale changes to assembly line management—everything from cross training to shift shifting. They can all make the difference for a coveted employee trying to figure out work-life challenges.

Clearly, workflex can be a reality, albeit a different reality, in the manufacturing sector if we accept that it’s not an impossible dream, but a key tool for making work work for employees and employers.

SPECIAL SHRM CONFERENCE OFFER FOR FAMILIES AND WORK INSTITUTE READERS: Use promo code ANN15MFG to receive a $200 discount! This exclusive offer is only valid for new registrations and can only be applied for the Preconference Workshop #811: Attracting and Retaining Talent in Manufacturing, which must be purchased with a full conference registration. This promo code cannot be combined with other discounts and is good only for the 2015 Annual Conference. Offer expires July 1.

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