two people hand shaking

5 Common HR Challenges in Manufacturing

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Not many sectors in the economy keep up with the rapidly evolving workplace like manufacturing. Although the rapid industry growth of manufacturing is beneficial in several ways, some challenges come with it. With swift technological advancements and a massive financial and employment footprint, HR departments need to improve with the industry.

Here are some of the most common HR challenges the manufacturing industry faces—and understanding these is imperative before you dive into potential solutions.

Workforce Shortage

The manufacturing workforce is in trouble due to several factors, including minimal graduates educated in STEM disciplines, the outdated reputation of workplaces, and lack of skilled personnel to do specialized jobs such as SWPPP inspection. Despite the fast and sustained financial growth of the industry, HR departments need to address significant losses in human capital throughout manufacturing, which is a notion that’ll only grow in urgency within the next few years.

HR departments need to make an active effort of keeping existing employees engaged, happy, and content, and provide better offers to candidates to fight against workforce shortage.

Recruitment Challenges

Successfully hiring new skilled talent into the workplace is crucial in efficiently addressing the current workforce shortages. However, the issue is deeply rooted and systemic from a societal perspective.

Because of the specificity of most manufacturing positions, such as highly specialized architects with particular skill sets and abilities, many vacant positions limit the number of qualified candidates. Additionally, stagnant recruiting budgets and lack of emphasis on college recruitment have further emphasized that manufacturing recruitment isn’t competitive enough with other sectors to fill its workforce frequently.

To address these challenges in recruitment, manufacturing HR departments need to learn how to compete with other sectors. They can do this in several ways, such as adopting market research-driven strategies or using a comparable set of tools to communicate and appeal to potential candidates.

HR doing an interview

Retention and Attrition

Most HR departments face the common challenge of keeping highly skilled workers within organizations. Given the existing massive shortages in its employees and recruiting abilities, reducing attrition is critical for manufacturing companies. However, the industry is prone to high turnover rates as individuals get drawn to newer opportunities. So, HR departments need to make an active effort to keep top-performing employees happy and content in the workplace.

Low Employee Engagement

The manufacturing sector needs to vastly improve its ability to build and foster highly engaging and productive work environments to leverage its workforce’s power and insight. That’s because HR departments face a unique challenge within the sector due to the sheer size of the crew that manufacturing companies usually have and its tendency of spreading its employee base throughout different locations and across a country—or the world.

That’s why manufacturers should develop healthy and constant contact with the trade unions vital to communicating between management and employees, minimizing the impact of different factors, such as locations, regions, and the workforce. Trade unions can help bridge the gaps in the vital communication created by the mentioned challenges, providing efficient channels for organizations to keep employees engaged.

Training and Development

Any HR department in any industry needs to offer proper training to all workers to keep them up-to-date with the latest developments within the sector and prepare them for upcoming challenges. Training and development can also help with an employee’s personal and professional growth, which is vital in creating higher employee satisfaction and engagement levels, helping HR personnel concentrate, and allowing companies to stay competitive within the international marketplace.

The transition from manual methods to advanced techniques in creating goods and services has made business processes complicated, giving rise to a series of HR challenges in manufacturing. Those mentioned are some of the most common ones you’d face. Knowing these can help your team streamline processes by searching for quick solutions before an issue arises, promoting better productivity and seamless operations.

Scroll to Top