Top HR Challenges in Manufacturing and How to Solve Them
July 15, 2021
The manufacturing industry has been one of the most hard-hit sectors of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, the operations had either been partially or entirely shut due to safety protocols and lockdowns, and try as they may, recovery will take longer than expected, according to a Deloitte report.
However, Bing-Lin Wu, Marketing Head, Maxxis India, states the pandemic has trained us to be ‘adaptable’. There are several challenges manufacturing businesses are familiar with, but the most significant factor is them struggling with their workforce, which is the Human Resources’ responsibility. From Hiring training and appraisal to ensuring that the staff is highly productive, HR deals in the most precious asset of a manufacturing company, its workers.
Today, we will address the common challenges that a manufacturing unit’s HR may face due to such challenging times and how they can tackle such problems.
HR challenges faced by the manufacturing industries with their respective solutions
- Laborious Recruitment Process: Employing a Recruitment Solution
The recruitment processes currently last for several rounds where potential resources are put through a number of tests to finalize the ones who get on-boarded by the company. By including more than three to five rounds in a recruitment process, a company wastes the time, capital, and the potential of its recruiting teams. Instead, it would be highly beneficial to streamline the recruitment process by standardizing the procedure in the least number of steps so that the applicants stay invested. The year 2020 has accelerated the use of AI in the hiring process, says, Amit Sharma, CHRO, Volvo Group India. The company acquires highly skilled resources at the earliest. If a manufacturing unit is unable to hire efficiently by themselves, using a third-party recruiting solution will help you hire the right talent with technology at your fingertips.
- Shortage in Skilled Workforce: Training Millennials
As observed, 80% of the manufacturing workforce consists of Baby Boomers ages 45 to 65. The baby boomers’ knowledge base and experience may be extensive and invaluable to the manufacturing industry. However, as this generation comes to a phase of reaching their respective retirement, it can be seen that they struggle to adapt to fast-paced changes in technology and workforce systems. Experience plays a huge factor in the quality of the human resources a manufacturing unit holds, but productivity is the one that will expand its profitability. There has been a rapid upsurge in the shortage of skilled workers who can quickly catch up with operating new machinery and handle the latest technology.
Hence, hiring millennials for a company’s manufacturing workforce is the most effective path for a productive workforce that can be quickly trained with the help of a learning technology software such as Alt Learning, as they have received some formal technological education.
- Inconsistent Productivity: Reducing and Eliminating Paper-based Functions
Safety hazards and lack of storage space are not new to the business world. Filing paperwork and maintaining physical copies of sensitive information, analytics, and data can threaten the organization’s privacy or make it difficult to access while working remotely. For instance, organizations have to mandatorily keep records of highly protected core HR information that could be misused if leaked.
Integrating automation in goal setting and analytics while digitizing documentation storage using a cloud-based performance management system, they can safeguard such private data by enforcing encryption, levels of clearance for access. Alt Performance is one of the most efficient investments one can make to step in the future with features like continuous feedback and recognition, performance review, and People analytics.
- Complex Worklife: Work-Life Simplification
While times are complex, the existing human resources of manufacturing companies are trying hard to stay afloat to ensure they provide the appropriate output in their employment course. Working at half capacity and multiple shifts has created an overall sense of disbalance among employees, reducing the overall productivity. Working remotely, the HR department struggles to establish a process that streamlines their processes from onboarding to expense management and separation management of the workforce. This challenge can be helped by bringing in a Work-Life Simplification system that provides real-time insights and solutions to automate all the processes while integrating with other internal sheets and third-party platforms.
- Retaining Talent: Improved Employee Welfare Policies
The manufacturing industry’s workforce has suffered the most in this pandemic due to the stoppage of operations, layoffs, wage cuts, or even closure of businesses in several cases. This has affected the employee turnover rates, losing talented personnel. Offering a better compensation package to such talent is the first remedy, however, it’s not the only reason why an employee can choose to depart from the organization. To retain such employees, the business can do its best to uplift the workplace environment by bringing better employee welfare policies such as providing better facilities in medical assistance, wage advances, counseling, or therapy. Regular words of encouragement and positive changes in the work culture from highly competitive to supportive will instill a sense of loyalty in the human resources and give them the motivation they need.
Pandemic or not, every industry, especially the manufacturing sector, deals with its fair share of Human Resources problems. As time and technology progress, these organizations must keep up with the changes to stay profitable and relevant. By employing the solutions to the challenges mentioned earlier, such companies can be ready to embrace the future rather than resist inevitable transitions. With several operations-based tasks to look after, a manufacturing unit’s HR team is either scarcely staffed, overworked, or too focused on pressing matters that need their undivided attention. Rather than pushing HR to the backseat, it would be highly effective and helpful for manufacturing units to integrate with an HRMS system so that all their workforce, no matter how many shifts, can report to, train under, and be held accountable by a uniform system to ensure optimal productivity.