The manufacturing industry has seen a lot of changes during the past few years. One of the biggest changes is that a lot of employees are leaving their jobs and looking for a new one. Furthermore, health and safety protocols, along with supply chain issues, are leading to issues with employee schedules, building a greater source of frustration. As a result, it is important for manufacturing companies to think about how they can effectively manage their workforces. There are several trends that will develop in the manufacturing industry related to workforce management in 2022 and beyond. Companies that can anticipate these changes will have an easier time placing themselves in the best position possible to be successful. 

1. More Workers Will Retire, Increasing the Number of Open Positions 

Similar to other industries that fall under the category of skilled trades, there is a significant labor shortage in the manufacturing industry. According to a study that was published by Deloitte

  • Close to 90 percent of executives in the manufacturing sector say that there is a talent shortage. 
  • Close to 2.6 million members of the Baby Boomer generation are expected to retire in the next decade. This will lead to a massive increase in open positions. 
  • Close to 2 million jobs are expected to be added in the manufacturing industry, only adding to the labor shortage. 

Clearly, manufacturers need to get ready to replenish a retiring workforce. One of the best ways to deal with this labor shortage is to ask retiring employees to train their younger workers, ensuring they are ready to take over when the older generation retires. The other option is to offer retiring workers access to part-time employment. That way, skilled labor sticks around long enough for companies to find new talent to take their places. 

It might also be prudent for companies to place an emphasis on skills instead of degrees. That way, they can find people with the right skills for the job without blocking people from positions purely because they do not have the right credentials. 

2. A Greater Focus on the Employee Experience 

In the past, the focus was solely on productivity. Even though productivity is still important, it is just as important to focus on the employee experience. The reality is that employees are only going to stay in that position if they are happy. Workers have more control than they ever have in the past, and many will not think twice about jumping ship to another job if they think they will be happier there. 

Recent studies have found that employees who are happy and engaged are: 

Therefore, companies need to do everything they can to make sure their employees are engaged on a daily basis. Employees who are engaged are happy. Employees who are happy or not only more productive but also more likely to stick around. 

3. The Remote and Hybrid Work Environments Will Grow 

Even though not every job in the manufacturing sector can be done remotely, those that can be done remotely or in a hybrid sector should be. According to a recent study, the vast majority of employees are looking for a remote or hybrid lifestyle. If employees do not have to worry about commuting to work every day, they have more time they can spend at home with their loved ones.

Furthermore, studies have shown that employees who are allowed to work from home are far less likely to leave their jobs. Even though not every job in manufacturing can be done remotely, it is incumbent on companies to find a way to allow more of their employees to work remotely or while providing other flexible work options, such as shift swapping and additional time off. 

4. Employees Will Have Greater Control of Their Schedules 

Finally, those who work in the manufacturing sector should expect to provide their employees with greater control of their shift schedules. Many employees are leaving their jobs because their hours are unpredictable or because they are subjected to last-minute changes. Employers can rectify this by allowing their employees to make their own schedules within certain parameters. 

There are a number of reasons why employers should allow employees to take accountability for their own schedules with mobile employee engagement technology. They include: 

  • Employers can still establish parameters to make sure they have the right number of people working the right positions every shift. 
  • Employees can make changes among themselves without harming the productivity of the company, freeing up managers to focus on other areas. 
  • Employees will feel like they have more control of their lives, creating a sense of loyalty to the company. This can reduce employee turnover. 

One solution to grow with these trends in the manufacturing industry is to enable workforce management by taking advantage of automated shift scheduling solutions from Indeavor.

Take Advantage of the Industrial Workforce Management Solution from Indeavor 

Manufacturing companies that want to be successful will need to move shift scheduling and shift swapping to their employees, giving them more control of their hours. This type of advanced workforce management can reduce employee turnover, increase productivity, and save everyone’s time. Indeavor provides those in the manufacturing industry with access to a convenient web-based solution that can automate employee scheduling and shift swapping while giving managers and executive leadership an appropriate degree of visibility. Labor analytics enables a bird’s eye view of accurate staffing practices to pinpoint over or understaffing. Adoption of the employee schedule app provides real-time schedule access and an easy, digital way to quickly request time off or swap shifts.  

Consider using this solution to streamline your shift scheduling to create an employee-first culture to attract and retain qualified manufacturers. Learn more by contacting one of our industrial workforce management experts today by emailing sales@indeavor.com.