Avoiding Voluntary Turnover in Manufacturing

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If you were to ask most workplaces if they felt that the work ethic of the average worker has declined throughout the generations, most would agree, especially with the younger members of the workforce.

Is it laziness, or perhaps they no longer want to work in a challenging operating or production environment?

In reality, “voluntary turnover” reached a high of 27% in 2021, which has resulted in supervisors assuming that young workers cannot produce.

Working With Multiple Generational Team Members

During one of our workshops, a debate ensued between supervisors after discussing how to motivate and engage multiple generations.

Key points made during the conversations included:

  • “My young employees are lazy, do not want to come to work, and when they are present, they do the bare minimum.”
  • “My younger team members do want to produce. And I struggle to get my seasoned members to work harder because they believe they are exempt due to length at the company and their higher seniority.”

Because the supervisor found success with his younger team members, he shared that absenteeism decreased while productivity increased in his department.

Who is right in this discussion; the supervisors who felt the younger generation was the issue or the supervisor who experienced the opposite with their veterans?

How to Avoid Voluntary Turnover in Manufacturing

Tip Number One: Pay Competitive Wages

This does not mean you expect more by overpaying your employees, but the results will improve if you compensate their time by at least what the market demands for their services.

You will not always be able to control or influence, but ideally, your company management will take care of at least paying market wages.

Tip Number Two: Onboard with Enthusiasm

If you are experiencing voluntary turnover, sometimes the manager, the HR team, or the production supervisor begin to lose hope that people will stay, which reflects in the onboarding.

When you onboard people, welcome them in and make them feel good about their choice to join your company. If you are worried about them leaving, they will also be concerned that they have made the right or wrong choices regarding their employment.

Lead with a positive first impression and give them the confidence that they can do the job well.

Tip Number Three: Train and Coach

To train and coach means you need to give them the skills they need to perform and meet your expectations.

When you demand more of your team members, you must prepare them to complete the task to your expectations.

Follow this up with coaching feedback so that they know how they are progressing, what improvements can be made, and what changes will produce better results in the future.

You are setting them up for success by providing suitable training and coaching.

If your organization improves onboarding, training, and coaching, you are going to find that your retention rate increases, and if they do leave, there is potential that they will return because of the positive experience they had.

Use your leadership as a competitive advantage in reducing voluntary turnover and manufacturing.

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