Manufacturing Workforce Retention Strategies

[dot_recommends] January 17, 2022 Manufacturing Business Strategy

New Solutions for a Competitive Employment Market


manufacturing workforce retention strategies are needed to respond to the relatively weak performance of manufacturing in change in quits levels at the end of 2021. Manufacturing quits increased 33% while retail trade quits increased 18% and transportation and warehousing increased 13%. Construction increased 2% and leisure and hospitality saw a decrease in quits by -2%. The average non-farm quits levels changes was 7%

Addressing workforce challenges remains a top priority for manufacturers. In part one of this workforce series, we covered recruiting workers. This second post focuses on manufacturing workforce retention strategies.

Urgent Need to Address Workforce Challenges

Automation may help ease the workforce pressure on manufacturers, but it’s not enough right now. As 2021 came to a close, manufacturing lagged other industries in retention (see graph above).

If you’re looking for ways to improve your workforce situation, here’s what the experts are saying.

Preparing for the Future of Work Now

Service sector and retail jobs often pay better than manufacturing jobs and provide as good or better benefits. Even with rising manufacturing wages, some competing industries are raising pay faster.

As you know, price—or pay—alone makes for a vulnerable competitive position. Competitive pay is a necessary starting place, but it’s unlikely to be sufficient.

Ideas for Looking Beyond Pay

  • Practice innovation in work structure and roles
    • If a worker gives notice, ask them what opportunities at your company would convince them to stay
  • Remake your employer brand
    • Foster worker pride by promoting your values and community involvement
  • Improve workforce experience
    • Analyze what could be changed for workers at every level of the operation to make your company more attractive
  • Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
    • Ensure you’re providing an environment where diverse talent can build careers


Add Leadership in Areas for Improvement

Experts recommend companies appoint leadership for DEI and other improvement initiatives. With dedicated leadership, changes happen faster and better.

The result of your company prioritizing manufacturing workforce retention strategies will be increased competitiveness and a stronger bottom line.

What successes have you had with worker retention? We’d love to hear about it! Connect with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk.


Managing Partner




Managing Partner | + posts

With over two decades of experience, Parin leads an expert demand-generation agency, StratMg, that helps industrial manufacturing clients achieve unambiguous and quantified organic sales growth across the US, EMEA & APAC.

Parin has built & positioned StratMg to be a value-added marketing services provider that strives to create a culture of quantified sales-driven marketing initiatives leading to sustained business growth through channel management, diversification, new customer acquisition and retention strategies and tactical execution.

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