The Manufacturing Talent Crisis and How to Overcome It

Manufacturers can implement a few key initiatives to help recruit and retain top C-Suite level talent.

Manufacturing companies should ensure off-site executive managers working in a hybrid environment are set up for success.

By Sasha Strauss, Founder and CEO of Innovation Protocol

Post-pandemic, the manufacturing industry is seeing a shortage of C-Suite and high-level executive talent. An already slower than average occupational growth of employment opportunities for industrial production managers, coupled with this new shortage of talent, companies must rethink their legacy processes and models and find new ways to attract C-suite level talent.

The good news is that the recruiting pool is now open to the entire country. It is imperative that manufacturing companies take a holistic approach to their offerings as an employer to make themselves as attractive as possible to executive-level talent, but what are these C-Suite individuals really looking for?

Toxic company cultures were the number one reason that employees left their jobs in the Great Resignation according to recent survey research by Flex Jobs. This has been even more pronounced in the manufacturing sector, where relationships with management and unsatisfactory working conditions were significant factors in the unprecedented number of organized labor strikes that swept the nation in 2021. Attracting the right talent in the new world of work will hinge on having a corporate culture aligned with people’s values, growth opportunities, and compensation packages that help executives do their best work within the organization.

To prepare your company to be a top destination for the best talent, consider offering a hybrid or off-site work environment for executives as part of a compensation package. Over the past couple of years, manufacturing industry executives have grown accustomed to remote or hybrid positions. Executive talent, which is primarily seated at a computer or in front of clients, have come to realize they don’t need to be “in the building,” and many enjoy the flexibility of remote life.

Companies should also ensure off-site executive managers working in a hybrid environment are set up for success. Offering operational support, communication tools, making remote workforce scenarios part of the onboarding process, and offering active training for remote collaboration can be a great asset. Also, leveraging productivity tools to enable real-time collaboration and remote monitoring systems to make collaborating with on-site staff more efficient can help executives overcome the unique challenges of working off-site in a manufacturing environment.

Ensuring that personal connections remain part of the company culture is also pertinent to maintaining talent. Leveraging touchpoints such as scheduling times for remote and onsite team members to spend time together and create connections can help build camaraderie in a remote or hybrid work environment. Examples might include in-person events that include both white- and blue-collar workers to reinforce relationships and teamwork, as well as regularly scheduled company town halls to keep employees continuously informed of what’s happening at the organization. These crucial moments of together time will also increase employee productivity and elevate morale, making a manufacturing job more attractive to an executive interested in team development and interpersonal relationships.

In addition to enabling a seamless and connected hybrid work environment, offering upskilling or reskilling opportunities will help retain executives long-term. Consider fostering an environment where employees can take control of their career, continuously learn to develop new skills, and find unique growth opportunities at your organization. This can be done through upskilling training initiatives and offering access to professional development courses, conducted inside or outside the organization. Oftentimes upskilling in the manufacturing sector is associated with blue-collar employees, but white-collar executives can benefit from this as well – by furthering their professional development through learning more leadership and management skills, as well as keeping up with new technologies and trends in the manufacturing space. Through initiatives like these, executives will feel motivated to continue growing within their workplace through learning new skills and feeling authorship over their professional development.

Although there are several factors influencing manufacturers’ ability to attract and retain executive talent, finding creative ways to use a firm’s strengths or make strategic investments that show a commitment to what matters to executives can help overcome hiring challenges. Rethinking policies and “the way it’s always been done” to create positive change in a company’s culture is one of most significant levers a company can use to become more appealing to executives looking for the right culture fit. Providing C-Suite talent with the training and tools they need—whether in the form of positive company culture, growth opportunities, platforms for increased productivity, or policies to support remote work—goes beyond just communicating benefits to creating them for promising executives.

The post The Manufacturing Talent Crisis and How to Overcome It appeared first on Industry Today.

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