Attracting and retaining talent in manufacturing is an ongoing concern.

A variety of factors are conspiring. Baby boomers are retiring, market demand is strong, manufacturing work is not on the radar of the younger generation, and many workers just don’t have the skills which manufacturers are looking for.

If your business shares this complaint, be proactive. There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your company is attractive to new recruits and offers sufficient benefits and opportunities to keep existing employees loyal.

Here are some quick tips to employ, but don’t stop there. Read magazines and websites relating to your industry as well as general business resources, and stay abreast of what other companies in your field are doing to hang on to employees.

Train New Employees with an Effective Onboarding Routine:

A robust onboarding process gives new employees a positive impression. Be clear about opportunities, expectations and culture, and give trainees are thorough overview of the workings of the plant.

Make Career Advancement a Priority:

Opportunities for career advancement are a huge advantage for any organization. Be clear about internal educational opportunities, tuition reimbursement, and long-term advancement dynamics.

Offer Useful, Career-Long Training:

When employees feel they’re getting valuable training which leads to the possibility of advancement, they’re loathe to leave. Plus they’re equipped to do a better job. Win, win!

Make Worker Safety a Genuine Priority:

If employees doubt that you care about their safety and well-being, they’ll never be truly invested. Comply with all requirements and go that extra step in safety standards and training.

Keep Employees Engaged with your Company:

Technology advances sometimes diminish contact between employees and management or among employees. For example, seldom do employees pop into the accounting office for paychecks as they may have done in years past. Compensate for this separation by putting people in charge of making introductions, soliciting feedback, resolving conflict and serving as a bridge between teams. Staff social activities also support engagement.

Reward and Recognition Matter:

Bonuses, incentives, benefits and acknowledgement all help workers create emotional bonds with their workplace and the people there, helping retain loyalty.

Get Involved with the Community:

Community involvement can include volunteer work, charitable giving, hosting events, offering internships and apprenticeships, sponsoring teams, initiating neighborhood cleanups and more. When employees participate in these activities, it builds loyalty while offering an opportunity to connect with fellow employees, flex different skills and cultivate leadership opportunities.

Your workforce is your most valuable asset, so invest in it. The costs of turnover are high, both in economic terms and from the perspective of productivity. Your company culture can make a difference.