What is the Great Resignation Labor Shortage and how are Manufacturers handling staffing

Manufacturers, along with most employers, have been hit with low morale during the COVID-19 pandemic. The change in work and life balance has resulted in a large decrease of working employees in manufacturing. This issue has been termed “The Great Resignation”. In this article, we will explain what that means and specifically what manufacturers can do to maintain a successful business.

What is the Great Resignation?

The great resignation is the overwhelming amount of people who have quit their jobs in the recent years. Statistics from Harvard show the greatest increase in resignation rates with more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. Typically, younger employees are seen to be the most dynamic in leaving and gaining employment, but they have actually been the outlier with resignations decreasing for workers aged 20 to 25. This is claimed likely due to uncertainty in financial security and reduced demand for entry-level workers. This shows a change of typical employment rates and an unprepared change of employment resignation.

In general, resignation rates were higher among employees who worked in fields that had experienced extreme increases in demand due to the pandemic, likely leading to increased workloads and burnout.

How Can Manufacturers Retain Their Employees?

Breaking down the categories of employment gives a more in-depth insight to the attraction, retention and success of employees. These areas of employment are broken down as follows:

  • Quantify the Turnover Rate: recognize the scope and impact of the problem, to do this use the formula:
    • Number of Separations per Year ÷ Average Total Number of Employees = Turnover Rate
    • It is important to further inspect the turnover breakdown to identify the voluntary resignations versus firings and layoffs.
  • Implement Competitive Working Conditions: Metrics do not just include salary and insurance benefits, but reach farther to metrics like time between promotions, size of pay increases, time off, community atmosphere, free refreshments, professionalism, community activities, and more recently health and safety procedures. This focus on already existing efforts or implementation of new ones leads to our next topic.
  • Identify Trends and Blind Spots: Analysis of previous efforts help identify which employees have the highest risk of resigning, and which employees can be retained with targeted interventions (Harvard Business Review).
  • Retain Before Employment: OgleTree Deakins point out, understaffed factories need larger hiring pools. Some companies reduce or focus staffing by relaxing GED/high school degrees with compensated experience, loosen aptitude testing requirements, sought veterans, target trade schools and reduce languages needed.

Employees are a huge contributor to a successful company. When the members of a company are able to commit to their workplace, the benefits reap with higher morale, work output and stability of the company. High resignation rates need to be met with dedication to improve company hiring which will result in increased employee loyalty.

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Elle Smith

Elle Smith

Elle Smith is a Marketing Assistant for TriMech Staff Augmentation
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