What Are the Hidden Costs of High Employee Turnover in Manufacturing?

Is your manufacturing facility dealing with high rates of turnover? If so, you are not alone.

Manufacturing jobs can be tough, and many people go into them unsure of exactly what to expect. But when you have high employee turnover, you don’t just have the expenses associated with recruiting and training someone new. Turnover can also drain your resources in unexpected ways.

Here are some costs you may not have considered, along with suggestions for reducing turnover.

Lower Productivity

When a position sits open, your remaining team members have to fill in the slack. This can lead to reduced morale, burnout, and lower productivity and efficiency. Even once you hire someone, it will take time for that person to get up to speed. The more turnover you have, the more your productivity overall is likely to suffer.

Safety and Quality Concerns

Manufacturing employees really need to know what they’re doing. Any mistakes could have a major impact on both the safety and quality of your operations. New employees are learning as they go along, which vastly increases the chance of mistakes. While some amount of turnover is inevitable, you don’t want to end up in a situation where everyone on the line is still a trainee.

Reputational Damage

With a lot of newbies in your facility, it will be increasingly difficult to meet your customers’ exacting standards. Missing deadlines or turning over shoddy products can cause you to lose trust. Over time, this can lead to reputational damage that is extremely difficult to undo.

How to Minimize Turnover

Of course, the best way to cope with employee turnover is to prevent it altogether. While you won’t be able to stop every team member from leaving, you can minimize turnover in three easy steps:

  • Job descriptions. Make your job descriptions as clear and forthright as possible. Briefly describe “a day in the life” as well as the skills and experience needed for success.
  • Onboarding and training. Revamp your onboarding and training programs to make them fun and exciting, while also providing everything your team members need for success. Offer regular training refreshers, but make them meaningful and engaging.
  • Employee engagement, upskilling, and development. Help all of your employees feel valued by providing ongoing engagement and development opportunities. Offer a strong mix of team bonding experiences, such as catered lunches or offsite activities, alongside career development programs such as mentorships, upskilling, cross-training, and job shadowing.

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