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High Turnover in Manufacturing: What to Do

It’s not exactly breaking news that the pandemic has had a huge impact on employee turnover. What you might not know is that this trend was well underway long before COVID-19, especially in the manufacturing sector. Back in 2015, manufacturing was already facing turnover of roughly 25 percent, and by 2019 that had grown to nearly one-third, where it has remained through the pandemic.

Some of the reasons behind the turnover predate the pandemic but were certainly made more prominent by it: Child care issues and work-from-home opportunities were both in play pre-2019, and COVID added more fuel to both. The manufacturing sector has also been impacted more than most by the health concerns arising from the pandemic, as many positions require close proximity to others.

It’s hard to run a successful business when one of every three employees is heading for the door, so what can manufacturers do to stem the tide?

Start with two words: better benefits. Health care and its associated costs have always been a big concern for employees, and never more than in the past two years. Any movement in the direction of a thoughtful, comprehensive and affordable health plan will be welcomed by your team members. It might cost more, but compared to the huge expense of constantly recruiting, hiring and training new employees, maybe not so much.

Manufacturing by its nature makes it difficult for employers to step up and provide some other perks employees are seeking, so some thinking outside the box might be required. Can production line workers spend a portion of their time in support roles that can be done remotely? Can you provide or subsidize child care, even on a limited basis? Can work hours be made more flexible to accommodate family demands at home?

As we approach two full years of change and uncertainty for workers, any efforts an employer can make to demonstrate that they understand and care about the challenges their team is facing will be welcome.

Questions about providing better benefits for your manufacturing employees? Contact Consolidated Insurance.

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