Want to Recruit Top Factory Employees? Think Workflex!


Manufacturers are facing big problems when it comes to recruiting enough top-tier factory workers, but there’s a fix few employers think about -- #workflex.

Those employers who implement more flexibility on their factory floors are finding workflex is helping them attract and retain top talent. This topic will be front and center during an upcoming session at SHRM’s annual conference next month in Las Vegas entitled Attracting and Retaining Talent in Manufacturing.

Why should you attend?

With the aging of the manufacturing workforce, employers are looking to the next generation of employees to take on good manufacturing jobs, but this has been challenging for many. Indeed, a new report by SHRM found recruitment problems are on the rise:

A net of 35 percent of manufacturing respondents had more difficulty with recruiting in April, an increase of 12.5 points from April 2014.

Clearly, attempts by the industry to shore up interest in production jobs needs a boost, and smart employers have found creating more flexible workplaces is a strategy leading to recruitment gains and to better retention of the best employees.

Flexibility on the job, even for factory employees, is more important than ever. And while many production employers just can’t see how it’s possible, if they don’t change their mindset they risk ending up at a competitive disadvantage.

To help manufacturers realize the dream of workflex in their factories, researchers at Families and Work Institute (FWI) spent the past year interviewing companies across the country to find out how they implemented more flexibility into what has long been seen as inflexible jobs.

The result is a free guide: Workflex and Manufacturing: More than a Dream. FWI and SHRM will be bringing the guide to life at the Attracting and Retaining Talent in Manufacturing session on June 28. It’s a meeting of the minds you won’t want to miss, offering real strategies and best practices from manufacturers who are changing the rules and trend-spotting research from thought leaders in the field. The session, including FWI experts and manufacturers who are implementing workflex successfully, will offer practical advice on how to make changes that work for their production environments, and how they can end up with increased productivity, and a workplace that’s seen as a great place to work and not a rigid when it comes to inevitable work-life needs.

Workflex is more than telecommuting! It can be small scheduling tweaks or child-care programs or wholesale changes to assembly line management, everything from cross training, to shift shifting. They can all make the difference for a coveted employee trying to figure out work-life challenges.

Clearly workflex can be a reality, albeit a different reality, in the manufacturing sector if we accept that it’s not an impossible dream but a key tool for making work work for employee and employers.


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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