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March Roundup: Manufacturing Employment Survey

How often are manufacturing employees changing jobs?

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Welcome to our March 2023 roundup of news from the warehousing, manufacturing, material handling and logistics world. Employment trends, certifications and technology are the focus this month.

Half of US Manufacturing Employees Plan to Leave Their Jobs – IndustryWeek

A new survey says that U.S. manufacturers will continue to face employee churn for the foreseeable future. How bad is it? According to Epicor, 50% of American manufacturing workers plan to leave their jobs in 2023. Keep in mind that the survey represented 800 workers. Still, that’s a very high number—and probably isn’t any shock to manufacturers these days.

Since worker knowledge is critical in most manufacturing operations, anything like 50% churn is a big issue.

manufacturing floor with workers and cranes for heavy industry.

Key takeaways

  • 58% of those surveyed had already applied for jobs during the last 6 months. That’s a big bite if even 10% of those leave a company.
  • Many workers—seven in ten—cited a lack of promotions and advancement for their plans to quit their jobs. Can you create pathways for your workers, or at least your most critical people?
  • A whopping 65% of respondents mentioned company culture as their reason for departure. Remember that your middle managers are the people who define your culture. Work directly with them to build a stronger culture that helps you retain people.
  • In fact, 38% mention their manager as their reason for planning to leave their jobs. This stresses the importance of a strong middle management group who can help you retain more people.
  • Only 30% mentioned pay. Salaries always matter, but they aren’t the end-all of employee retention.

What can you do?

To address these issues and retain talent, the report recommends that companies prioritize employee development and career advancement. Part of that is absolutely nurturing a positive culture that reduces the desire for employees to leave your company for a small raise. Managers, particularly floor managers, are the key to that change. You’ll be dealing with an aging, smaller workforce from here forward, so initiatives to increase your competitiveness and appeal to workers will pay off.

Other things to consider are introducing automation to reduce labor dependence, providing flexible hours and upgrading the work environment to increase retention.

Read more:  How Material Handling and Automation Increases Labor Flexibility

Interview: Mitch Smith of Hytrol – DCVelocity

Hytrol Chief Revenue Officer Mitch Smith
DCVelocity interviewed Hytrol’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mitch Smith on March 8 on a wide range of topics.

  • About the conveyor and sortation industry: “Several industry associates and economists believe a slowdown is imminent.”
  • On downturns, growth and innovation: “A slowdown in business gives technology-focused companies a chance to accelerate past those that stop developing new products and services.”
  • Hytrol’s current strategy: “To be most effective, we cannot just sell and produce conveyors; we need to solve customers’ business needs.”
  • On Hytrol’s commitment to its integration partner network: “Hytrol’s partners are industry leaders in material handling automation and compete daily with international OEMs around the globe.”
  • Can conveyors and robotics complement each other? “There is no single solution that fits all challenges. I believe conveyors and robotics will continue to complement each other for many years to come. In fact, when designed effectively, robots working together with conveyors provide the optimal benefit to the user.”
  • On the industry’s need to find a qualified automation technicians: “Several industry associations focused on training programs for automation technicians. This is critical as more material handling automation is being implemented throughout the world.”

WERC’s Distribution Logistics Leader Micro-Credential & Certification Program

WERC certifications
WERC—The Warehousing Education and Research Council—offers micro-certifications in distribution logistics fundamentals, warehousing equipment, safety & compliance, facility performance & metrics, and labor management/leadership. These certifications are based on short, competency-based courses that let you demonstrate your knowledge and experience.

Quick hits

  • HapiGig, which offers gig warehouse labor,  discusses “Top Five Issues Warehouse Employees Face,” including scheduling, safety, engagement, growth and benefits.
  • In “How Manufacturers Can Leverage Adaptive Skills,” the Manufacturing Institute covers the ways manufacturers can help cover the skills gap by using adaptive skills, which are basically the kind of skills that help change their capabilities as their job functions and environment change.
  • In “Luddites,” NYU Profesor Scott Galloway makes the case that while it can be disruptive, automation tends to increase employment. Automation tends to disrupt current types of jobs, he says, and then creates more new work than it disrupted. The trick is the transition.

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