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Top HR Challenges In Manufacturing: Plus Tips For Solving Them

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One industry that is evolving in their business structure is the manufacturing space. To swiftly adapt to these rapid changes, manufacturing company HR departments and personnel need to evolve to keep their work and organizations in order. One way of doing this is through HR outsourcing services.
Previously, many manufacturing companies were breaking their former output records. But after a global health crisis, everything changed. Manufacturing job openings are piling up, and finding the best talent for the industry is not as easy as it used to be.

Today, HR in the manufacturing space faces many challenges ranging from addressing injuries to training supervisors and everything that falls in between. Once company leaders and HR departments address these challenges, they can curb attrition and improve the retention rate of the employees.
Below is a list of some of the top HR challenges facing the manufacturing industry and a few tips to address them properly.


The Manufacturing industry is introducing new technologies every day to make its operations fast and efficient. Today, companies are automating job tasks that were possible through manual work. With new technology, manufacturers have to retrain their employees so that they understand these new machines and how to use them for an efficient work environment.

Earlier, companies used to fire existing employees and hire new ones with the right skill set for the job. But today, recruiters don’t have that flexibility, as they must invest time in looking for the skills that may be needed in the future while recruiting new workers.

Companies should estimate the requirement of the workforce and then match the demand with their current workers. The remainder should be retrained to support the existing employees to move forward without compromising their work.


Earlier, word-of-mouth and classified ads might have been sufficient for all producers to hire skilled workers. But that’s not the case in the 21st century, as manufacturers have to be more creative when luring pure talent and young generations, including people of Gen Z and millennials in their 30s. Here’s how HR members can recruit the right talent suitable for their job.

Building Relationships With High Schools

The HR team can talk about career placement, and job offers with students at colleges, community colleges, high schools and trade schools, to encourage students to consider manufacturing careers. Invite students and school personnel to tour your company so that they can see all that you have to offer. That way, they will see your company and experience the culture inside the facility. It will encourage them to work with you in the industry.

Build Company Awareness Online

Plants and factories are often installed in non-popular industrial parks, making it challenging for potential employees to physically know their presence in the market. To combat this potential lack of awareness, start showcasing your services and promote your business online to get recognized by potential employees.

Training And Preparing Supervisors

Lack of proper management can lead to work burnouts, unhappy employees and low revenue. Everybody in the organization works for a bigger picture, and supervisors have to keep track of their workers to ensure everything is done right. To ensure effective results, supervisors need to understand the people working under them and connect with them on a personal level, like learning more about their hobbies and families, as they are humans too.

With that knowledge, leaders can spark a conversation using a few open-end questions with their employees to know them better, like is there anything you need help with? Or how was your weekend? Or how’s your kid doing? Striking conversations with these questions can help supervisors build a strong relationship with their workers.

The manufacturing industry can organize mentorship and leadership programs to ensure all supervisors have the right skill set to handle the workforce under their command.

Leave And Injuries

Besides other sectors of the economy, manufacturing contributes the highest injury rates, and those injuries can enforce the protection of workers’ rights under federal and state laws. The ADA (Americans with disabilities act), the FMLA (family and medical leave act), workers’ compensation rules, and other laws can intersect here.

Once an employee in the manufacturing industry gets injured, everything gets complicated for the employers. For instance, if a worker gets a back injury, they can get 12 weeks off, according to the FMLA. But an employer may fire them if they don’t show up after those weeks are up.

However, if the worker has a note that shows they need at least 21 weeks to recover, the ADA will need the employer to grant more time. At this moment, employers need to be mindful and find work within the company that does not intersect or put pressure on their injury. Remember, an employee should go through a necessary screening process to determine an ideal position after they come back from an injury so that you can avoid any lawsuit.

HR teams work day and night to fill their organizations with employees and manage other challenges side by side while keeping the bigger picture of the company in mind. After all, a right leader treats their people with equality and values their opinion so that there is no workplace politics and everybody feels heard.

How HR Outsourcing Services Can Help

When you work with an outsourcing partner like EmPower HR, your manufacturing company will have a team of experts, ready to tackle the challenges outlined above — so that your company can continue to prosper and grow.