Although the industrial world finds itself in a volatile period of much economic uncertainty, maintaining the core of its current workforce is critical for capitalizing as the economy recovers. In previous downturns, many firms (such as engineering, procurement and construction companies that design and build complex energy and chemical plants) cut personnel deeply to quickly align costs to reduce revenues. These cuts ultimately undermined those organizations' ability to successfully pursue and execute new projects as capital spending picked back up.
As the global manufacturing industry evolves it faces new challenges, particularly in sourcing talent. While company leaders navigate trade regulations and push toward shorter production runs, the talent they need is in short supply. Seasoned workers are aging out of the workforce, and replacements are getting harder to find, which increases costs. At the same time, organizations struggle to find people for hard-to-fill roles such as health and safety engineers, which can take twice as long to source and hire as assemblers, fabricators, and other line jobs.
Employee experiences may never return to what they were before COVID-19. But with a post-pandemic future still undefined, it will be some time before any “new normal” can be established. In the meantime, employees must continue to adjust to new safety protocols and other stressors in the workplace or continue to adapt to virtual work at home.
After a company puts in the hard work onboarding its new employees, it would be a shame to see them walk right back out the door in less than a year. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what can happen if managers and team leaders don’t make an effort to keep employees happy beyond the onboarding lifecycle. The following three retention strategies can help companies boost employee engagement and keep team members satisfied throughout their (ideally, lengthy) tenures.
Employee engagement has been a hot topic for the better part of the past two decades, but there seems to be confusion as to what it actually is. First, consider what it is not:
- Employee engagement is not employee motivation.
- Employee engagement is not employee satisfaction.
- Employee engagement is not two employees deciding to get married.
Rather, employee engagement is a combination of how connected employees feel to their workplaces and the level of effort they put in as a result. Engaged employees stand apart from the typical worker in their ability to go the extra mile, bring passion to their projects, and help bring their organizations' mission to fruition.