These days the offer for candidates for manufacturing jobs is not enough for the demand. Lose experience is critical not only for continuous improvement but for the plant successful operation. Many experienced employees are starting to retire, therefore retention is more important than ever, whatever happen 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, their ideas and needs matter and they have the tools they need to be able to accomplish their work successfully without safety issues or hassles. New hires are mostly millennial, 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, to learn, to feel that other people care about them: their peers, a mentor, somebody who helps and advice not just train them on how to do their job. They would like companies that commit to their development the same way they will commit to the company’s future.
The common thing between them is that they want to feel good, respected and that their leaders care about them. People appreciate working in a positive environment where they feel trusted and listened. In a respectful work environment, employees feel trust to talk with the supervisor about things on their personal lives that affect their work performance. This trust does not appear out of the blue, needs to be built over time. When somebody from the team is struggling, let’s remember them that all of us has bad times, encourage them to overcome those issues, do not try to diminish them but rather 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 about new hires and employees in general. For some high skill, critical positions it is very easy for new hires to feel overwhelmed because there is too much to learn in a short period of time. High levels of stress can have a negative impact on performance. This is a perfect time to encourage communication not just about procedures and policies but about how they feel as human beings.
While the supervisor has the burden of making the employee feels appreciated on his/her new job, the manager plays an important role also. Just 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, what they need, make clear what the job priorities are but also clarify that nobody expects them to know everything, asking questions is fine. Encourage them to make questions, to clarify doubts, to talk with their supervisors about their concerns and if that does not work, then to feel free to talk with you. There is no guarantee that this will incline the scale towards a stay in the company vs. leaving but for sure can help to keep the team together.