SELECT PERSPECTIVES BLOG

2 Strategies for Onboarding Success in Manufacturing

Posted by  Lindsey Burke

onboarding manufacturing hiring

Employers all over the United States and Canada are taking all necessary efforts against the challenges of the tight labor market. Many employers want to find an answer to recruitment issues such as lack of candidates, candidate dropout, and becoming an employer of choice. Although these are very important things to investigate and improve upon where possible, knowing what you will do during the onboarding process to keep new hires engaged and excited to come to work every day will be even more important. People are no longer looking for a job because they don’t have one – people are applying to jobs because they are looking for a better job and know it’s out ther within their reach. New employees will not be scared to leave your organization early on in their tenure if you are not providing what they need to “tick.” Thus, what you are doing from point of hire counts as well.

Here are two options some employers are taking to encourage engagement and job satisfaction starting at the onboarding stage.

1. Coaching & Mentoring Programs

In our research, lack of training and lack of a valued supervisor is a huge reason for dissatisfaction on the job and is ultimately a reason for early career turnover. The millennial population accounts for the majority of entry-level hiring in several industries, including manufacturing. Because of this, employers have been focusing on implementing training processes tailored to the wants and needs of this generation. One of those wants needs is consistent feedback. Millennials value the advice, direction, and opinions from experienced others, and companies have incorporated mentor-mentee programs to fulfill this need. Coaching and mentoring sessions can take place in several forms. Consider assigning employees to supervisors and/or trainers who are willing to provide real-time feedback and answers to their questions when prompted. Feedback and coaching should be held regularly and closer together in time during the onboarding process and first few months on the job. The quicker the employee learns the job and feels supported, the better.

Read more: Preparing for the Next Generation of Manufacturing Employees

2. Job Instruction

Another contention point we hear from the entry-level manufacturing crowd is a lack of clarity for how tasks should be completed and why they are completed certain ways. Because of this, some employers are taking steps to more clearly define and standardize how certain tasks are to be completed. When work is standardized, it is often more efficient and eliminates the “my way or the highway” mindset that can be off-putting to others. There is only one "right way" once work has been standardized. Consider implementing job instruction and making this a focal learning point in the onboarding process so new employees can feel comfortable and confident in the work they are doing. 

Related: How to Attract New Generations to Fill the Manufacturing Skills Gap

The above points are only two changes your organization could consider making to encourage employee retention and satisfaction. Implementing job instruction could require buy-in across the organization, but the results can be significant. A coaching and feedback program can be easily implemented into any company and is a great way to get started with an enhanced onboarding process in your manufacturing organization. 

manufacturing employees

Tags:   manufacturing hiring in a tight labor market

Lindsey Burke

Lindsey Burke is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of Select International. She is largely responsible for client support and managing clients in industries including manufacturing, sales, and healthcare. Lindsey completed her M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Xavier University and earned a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology from Kent State University.

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