These days, manufacturing job candidates’ offer is not enough for the demand. Lose experience is critical for the plant operation. The continuous improvement journey is affected as well. Many experienced employees started to retire, which makes retention more important than ever. Whatever happened during their first ninety days can determine how long they stay. What we have to do to keep our team minds away from thinking about getting a new job? A good pay rate and benefits are important but they are not everything.
Employees are looking for a workplace where they are treated with respect, where their ideas and needs matter. A place where they have the tools they need to do their work without safety issues or hassles.
Many new hires are millennials. What are they looking for in their workplace? They want to have a meaningful job, a place where they can make a difference. They also want to grow, learn and feel other people care about them. Millennials want to have a peer, mentor, or somebody who helps and advice not just train them. They are looking for companies that commit to their development the same way they will commit to the company.
What is common to everybody is the need to feel good, respected and that their leaders care about them. People appreciate working in a positive environment where they feel trusted and listened to. They want to feel the trust to talk about what affects their work performance.
This trust does not appear out of the blue, it is built over time. When somebody from the team is struggling, let’s remember them that all of us have bad times. Encourage them to overcome those issues, do not try to diminish them. Listened and let them the chance to vent. Treat employees like people, not a commodity.
Training during onboarding is a great chance to start showing that you care. For some high skill, critical positions it is easy for new hires to feel overwhelmed. There is too much to learn in a short period. High levels of stress can hurt performance. This is a perfect time to encourage communication. Reassure them to ask not just about procedures and policies but about how they feel as human beings.
The supervisor has the burden of making the employee feels appreciated, but the manager plays an important role. A small chat with new employees to say hello and welcome them to the team is enough to establish a relationship. Do not stop there, during the next couple of days or weeks talk with them again. This time ask how they feel, and what they need. Clarify what the job priorities are. It is important to clarify that nobody expects them to know everything. Encourage them to make questions, and clarify doubts.
Onboarding is not the only time for this kind of conversation. You already build the foundation for a respectful relationship with your employees. A relationship based on trust, do not stop listening or caring about their needs or concerns. Stopping will means the end of it.
There is no guarantee that this will incline the scale towards a stay in the company vs. leaving. But, it will help to keep them on the job rather than leaving. Do you want to keep your team together? Start by listening and being sensitive to their needs.