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Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics

January 26, 2024

In 2024, we expect to see a lot of companies and HR departments shift focus from hiring new staff and start thinking about how they can retain the staff they already have. 

As Gen X enters the workforce, we’re seeing a trend of workers hopping between jobs if their employer cannot meet their requirements. This is expensive for employers, as recruitment and training can be a big drain on resources.

Instead of increasing recruitment efforts, employers should instead think about how they can retain and train their existing workforce. By shifting focus to making sure current employees are happy, you can drive down recruitment costs and train individuals exactly as you want, so they are tailor made for your company.

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics CMD Recruitment

Why is staff retention so important?

In manufacturing and logistics, knowledge is power. Every company has unique systems and processes in place to make things run efficiently and smoothly. Once workers know these systems and procedures, it’s easier to keep them around and continue training and promoting them than it is to bring in new hires and train them from scratch.

If you want to address the cost of recruitment in 2024 and ensure that your staff are as happy as they can be, then focusing on staff retention is essential. Here are a few examples of HR tactics you can use to make sure your workers are happy to stick around and grow with your company in 2024. 

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics CMD Recruitment

Focus on the basics

The simplest way to make sure your staff are happy to stay put in their roles is to focus on the basics. 

Regularly reviewing your health and safety procedures and making it clear that you value the health and wellbeing of your employees is a simple approach that can deliver results for years to come.

A commitment to the basics will let your employees know that you value their input and you don’t just see them as a cog in the machine.

Another simple basic step is to make sure their pay is competitive. Review what other companies are offering their staff and regularly increase pay in line with inflation and other factors. Increasing pay without your employees having to request it is a simple way to show you value their contribution.

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics CMD Recruitment

Offer training and mentorship

Employees are more likely to stay put if they can see their career going somewhere. Don’t leave people feeling stagnant and bored. By offering ongoing training plans and a budget for external training, you can increase happiness among your employees while also ensuring that your staff are trained in the latest techniques which can help improve efficiency.

Request feedback regularly

You won’t know what your employees really value unless you ask them. As part of your employee appraisal process, make sure you have a two-way conversation and ask for feedback about what you could be doing better as an employer.

You might learn that the perks you’ve been offering aren’t really valuable or helpful to your employees, and they might have much better ideas about how you could improve their working lives.

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics CMD Recruitment

Embrace new technology

Employees are more likely to stay put with companies that embrace change and the future. If you’re holding off on letting technology into your company, you run the risk of appearing backward and out-of-date to employees.

This can be frustrating for employees, as they know their job could be much easier if they simply had access to the latest technology. If you’re not careful, continuing to ignore the latest technology could lead your employees to check out your competitors. 

Offer flexible scheduling

Since the pandemic, the topic of flexible working has been difficult to broach for many employers and employees. If you have the capacity to offer flexible working, there is no reason not to. Not all of your employees will take you up on this offer, but for those that need a little extra flexibility in their life, it can be a gamechanger and a reason to stick around for the long haul.

Staff Retention in Manufacturing and Logistics CMD Recruitment

What are the downsides of high staff retention?

High staff retention can be a good thing, provided your staff remain motivated and productive. The other side of the coin is that you could fill your company with employees who are comfortable enough to stick around, but not motivated enough to make a difference. They will do just enough to not get fired, but they aren’t fired up and motivated in their role.

For new starters joining your company, this can be a huge red flag, as the team might appear stagnant and unengaging. You’ll also miss out on the introduction of new perspectives and skills if you only promote internally and don’t look at external talent.

This is why it is vital to strike a balance between promoting internally and hiring externally. You start by supporting your employees so that they have what they need to be productive and to share their enthusiasm. The employees that want to grow with your company will have the opportunity to do so, while you can fill the skill gaps with external hires when you cannot find anyone within the company willing to undergo additional training.

Remember that job motivations will change with age. Younger hires will typically want training and learning opportunities, while those of parenting age are more likely to be looking for flexibility. As workers get older, stability will be essential for them.

Closing thoughts

Staff retention will be a key hiring trend for 2024, so it’s worth spending some time thinking about what you are currently doing to keep your existing staff happy and engaged in their roles.

By improving working conditions for your existing workers, you can take the pressure off the need to hire externally. This keeps knowledge and experience within your company and enables you to plan for the future with confidence. It also eases pressure on hiring managers to attract new hires and bring them up to speed with your procedures and systems.

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