Task: For Assessment , you selected a sector is manufacturing. You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector. Your essay will draw on at least five themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector. Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the annotated bibliography you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector.
Introduction: Organizations in manufacturing industries are facing challenges of attracting and retaining talent at the same time when there is high attrition rate in the industry. Losing talents and employees lead to performance loss of the organizations that can have long-term negative impact on the businesses. Due to leaving the employees, organizations not only face productivity loss but also loss of work harmony and social goodwill. There are various factors affecting attraction and retention process of employees in the organization (Soto-Acosta, Popa & Palacios-Marqués, 2016). This report focuses on various challenges faced by organizations in manufacturing industry while attracting and retaining talent for various positions. Along with this, report also uses various human resource strategies to deal with these challenges effectively.
Attracting and retaining employees
Attracting talent: Attracting and hiring talent is important for the success of each organization. In order to hire most talented candidates, organizations need to attract hem first which is a big task for them. Attracting talent is the process of soliciting enquires of candidates. This can be done by the advertising of vacancies in order to attract the candidates and meeting mandatory criteria. In current time, most popular attraction tool is the use of effective brand strategies. In this, employer create brand website so that talent pool of candidates can register into that online website. Attracting suitable candidates in manufacturing industry is important for the success of the organizations as right candidate will enhance the organizational performance in the industry (Breaugh, 2008).
Retaining employees: It is not only important for the organizations to recruit the employees but it is crucial also to retain them for the growth of the business. Employee retention can be described as using various practices and policies in order to make employees committed towards the organization. The organizations face a complete loss when the fully trained employees leave their job. Employee retention includes various measures and methods so that employees stay in the organization for the long period of time.
Challenges in attracting talent: Successfully attracting and recruiting talent in the workplace is very important for addressing the issue of current workforce shortage in manufacturing shortage. Unfortunately, it is a challenge for manufacturing organizations to attract appropriate candidates for various job roles. There are many vacant positions for instance, highly specialized civil engineers with the specific knowledge and abilities, due to number of unqualified candidates. Low recruiting budgets and lack of focus on college recruitments have increased this issue. Along with this, manufacturing industry is not much competitive with other industries in terms of filling its workforce. As a result, attracting suitable candidates is becoming a challenge for the industry. Based on a recent report, it is observed that 55% of manufacturing companies have shortage of people with appropriate skills in their research and development department and marketing department as well (Mellor, Hao & Zhang, 2014). Key challenges in attracting talent in manufacturing industry are as follows:
Lack of technical skills: In the manufacturing industry, there is always need of employees having technical and creative skills. But, managers sometimes have to face the challenges in attracting the candidates due to lack of required technical skills. For instance, automotive industry is facing challenges in attracting suitable candidates due to shortage skilled people. During the recession, sector lost various skilled workforces to other industries. Now, the automotive organizations are facing difficulties in attracting candidates having the ability to work in various areas as vehicles have become technical now. There is the shortage of highly qualified and experienced industry professionals and this has created challenge for the organizations to attract suitable candidates for the business operations (Martín-Peña, Díaz-Garrido & Sánchez-López, 2014).
Lack of role definition: Due to lack of role definition, organizations sometimes are not able to attract the suitable candidates for job role. If there is no clear role, positions and responsibilities the candidates will not apply for the job in the organization. When the organizations are unsure about the set of skills required for the post, it will hire wrong candidates and that would impact on organization negatively.
Inadequate resources: Sometimes, organizations are not able to attract candidates due to nit having enough resources. Sometimes, human resource department does not have sufficient budget to place the advertisements across the internet and this can be the big problem for organizations to find skilled and qualified candidates for the vacant positions (Abdullah, 2009).
Lack of decision making: In the organizations, hiring managers or executive teams sometimes have false perception about finding the suitable candidates. Due to lack of proper decision-making process, organizations are not able to find out suitable candidates for various job roles. Holding unrealistic expectations create challenge for the managers in attracting the talent for the vacant positions. Further, lack of work life balance and having poor relationships with the employees can be the cause of employees to leave the organization and switch to better opportunities.
Global competition: In current time, candidates have multiple offers in hand due to various online platforms. Delays and indecisions of the managers in the hiring process may lead the candidate to select any other opportunity. Along with this, attractive offers and benefits with expected salary is also one of the factor that make recruitment challenging. If other organization is providing additional incentives with salaries to the candidates then than they will prefer that organization. The quality interview experience also impact on the decision-making process of candidates (Wanjiru, 2007).
Challenges in retaining employees: In the manufacturing industry, HR department is facing very real challenge of retaining skilled employees within the organization. Due to the shortage of employees and recruiting abilities, minimizing attrition rate is really a big challenge for the organizations in manufacturing industry. The industry is facing high turnover rates as people are getting new and attractive opportunities in other sectors. There are some challenges faced by organizations in manufacturing sector while retaining the employees in the workplace-
Ineffective organizational culture: The culture of the organization is very important for the employees to stay committed towards their job role. Employees who are not committed with the culture of the organization, they are not likely to continue with employment of that organization. If the culture is not fit for the employees, then they will not stay longer in the organization. Many of the employees tend to leave the organization due to misfit with the culture. Along with this, if the vision, goals and strategies of the organization are not clear with employees then they leave the job. In such condition, it becomes difficult for the organizations to retail the skilled employees in the workplace (Kiptum, 2017).
Job dissatisfaction: Job satisfaction is very important for the employees to stay committed with the organization. If the employees are not satisfied with their job then they will find better opportunities. People do not just work for money; they want satisfaction in their work also. Many employees leave the job when they do not find that their work is important and their contributions are valued and recognized by their senior management. If there is work dissatisfaction then there would be high level of turnover of employees. Along with this, wages and salaries structure can also be the cause of dissatisfaction among the employees. High expectations of salaries can be one of the reasons for employees to quit the organization. Employees switch to those sectors where they are getting salary as per their expectations (Gadhoum, 2016).
Lack of training: In order to perform best in the job role, employees need coaching, tracking, training and long term investment. Manufacturing industry needs experienced and highly-specialized candidates to enhance the business efficiency. But this is required to provide high training to those candidates. Due to the lack of training, it is not possible for the employees to perform their best in the workplace and they quit from the job.
Lack of succession planning: Each and every employee wants significant growth in the career. If there is no proper succession planning in the organizations, then will leave the job and find out for the better opportunities that would enhance their career. If the succession plans are not done properly then there will be high turnover in manufacturing organization. In such situation, it is a big challenge for managers to retain their employees in the organization. Low performance bonus and no appreciations can be the cause of leaving the organization by the employees. So, employee retention can be the big issue for the organizations in such conditions.
Ineffective communication: In the manufacturing industries, ineffective and unclear communication can be the cause of attrition of employees. Poor communication is the leading cause of high turnover rate among the employees. Ineffective communication between supervisors and blue collar employees is the reason of high turnover rate of employees. Large portion of employees in manufacturing plants is dissatisfied due to different viewpoints of the managers. Along with this, poor communication is the result of reduced morale among the employees.
Strategies: Based on the above discussion, it is clear that organizations in manufacturing industry are facing challenges in attracting and retaining employees. In order to deal with these issues, it is important for the organizations to implement effective human resource strategies. There are various human resource policies and approaches by which attrition rate within workplace can be minimized. Appropriate attraction and retention strategies would be helpful for the organizations to keep the employees motivated so that they can perform their best in the workplace (Half, 2017). Some of the human resource tactics are discussed below:
Reward and compensation system: Every employee wants appreciation for their efforts in their job role. It is responsibility of human resource managers to appreciate and give feedback to the employees for their work. This can be done by a sincere mail, a gift card or extra day off. Appreciation and reward system will be helpful in retaining employees within the organizations. By setting reward system, organizations can enhance great ideas and innovations and retain the employees with high level of motivation. Along with this, it is also important for the organizations to provide attractive compensation packages including salaries, health benefits, paid time off, bonuses, retirement plans and other offers that differentiate the organizations from others. This would be helpful in reducing attrition rate within the workplace (Ployhart Schneider & Schmitt, 2012).
Managing work-life balance: This is directly associated with the culture of the organization. If the employees are expected to work for long hours then employee retention would be a big challenge for the organizations. A healthy work life balance is important to retain the employees in the workplace. Managers in the organizations need to understand the importance of work-life balance. For this, they can encourage employees to take vacation time, and extra day off compensate while working in involving in late night work. This would enhance job satisfaction level among the employees. Organizations can also provide flexible schedule to enhance work-life balance for the employees that they can be retained effectively.
Learning and development: In the industry of manufacturing industry, employees always want the possibility for the growth and advancement. Managers need to invest in the employees’ professional development and provide opportunities to them for growth and development. Along with this, it is crucial to provide reports to the employees about their short-term and long-term goals and the way to achieve them (Vahlne &Johanson, 2017). For training and development of employees, organizations should pay for employees to attend conferences and industry events every year. Further, providing tuition reimbursement and continuous education training can be helpful in employee retention within workplace.
HR planning: In order to attract candidates for the various positions in manufacturing industry, it is important for the managers to do effective human resource planning within the organization. Human resource planning includes methods of recruiting and development of the employees to achieve organizational goals. Managers need to focus on workforce analysis to compare current workforce to future needs of employment. In order to attract the talent, managers must plan according to quality and quantity (Franklin, 2017). By seminars and job fairs, organizations are able to promote themselves among the candidates. Participating in the fund-raising events and other social events would be beneficial for the organizations to attract job candidates. Further, HR planning also includes training programs that are effective in attracting job candidates. Training programs can reduce the current and future liability for employee safety emphasis.
Performance management: Analyzing and managing performance of the employees is very important for employee retention within the workplace. Employees always want feedback for their efforts. Appreciating them effectively would be helpful in achieving the organizational goals. So, performance management is essential for retaining the employees in the manufacturing industry (Szypko, 2016). Managers should know that regular feedbacks and appreciations improve the motivation level of the employees within the workplace. If the employees are performing high level, they must get appreciation and recognition. So, for minimizing attrition rate and effective employee retention, performance management is an important factor. Performance management should be done on regular basis so that skilled and trained employees can be retained effectively (Long, Ajagbe, Nor & Suleiman, 2012).
Based on the above analysis, it is observed that losing talents and employees lead to performance loss of the organizations that can have long term negative impact on the businesses. Currently, it is a challenge for manufacturing organizations to attract appropriate candidates for various job roles. Manufacturing industry is not much competitive with other industries in terms of filling its workforce. In the industry, managers sometimes have to face the challenges in attracting the candidates due to lack of required technical skills. Further, due to lack of proper decision making process, organizations are not able to find out suitable candidates for various job roles. In terms of retaining employees, Due to the shortage of employees and recruiting abilities, minimizing attrition rate is really a big challenge in the industry. If there is work dissatisfaction then there would be high level of turnover of employees. So, job dissatisfaction is a major factor. Next, many of the employees tend to leave the organization due to misfit with the culture. In order to deal with the challenges, it is important for the organizations to implement effective human resource strategies. Reward and compensation system, managing work-life balance, Learning and development process, effective HR planning and regular performance analysis are the strategies that can be used to deal with the identified challenges in attracting and retaining employees.
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