• The Impact of Turnover on Manufacturing Costs

    Are your turnover rates affecting your bottom line more than you realize? Before you dismiss turnover as a standard cost of business or a natural and unavoidable aspect of the manufacturing industry, think twice. A few small changes to your workplace or your management style can keep employees on the team for longer tenures, and turning short term relationships into long-term partnerships can dramatically cut costs and bolster your stability. Here’s how.

    Longer Tenures Mean Higher Levels of Institutional Knowledge

    If you look around your manufacturing workplace and see mostly new faces, you probably see enthusiasm, high energy levels, a general sense of ambition, and an eagerness to please and impress managers and supervisors. But here’s what you don’t see: ingrained positive habits, an in-depth understanding of company goals, respect for the status quo, lower error rates, and a willingness to teach and lead as well as learn and follow. To move from the first to the second, you’ll need to raise the average tenure on your shop floor.

    Longer Tenures Boost Your Reputation

    If your employees enjoy working here and are happy to stay, this positivity will have a ripple effect that extends beyond the walls of the company. Your brand and your reputation will extend to friends, family, and wide social and professional networks. As a result, you’ll hear from more and better applicants when you post an open position.

    Short Tenures Mean High Risk and Training Investments

    If an employee comes on board and stays for less than one calendar year, you may see this as a benefit – especially if the employee seems mistake-prone or has a minor attitude problem. But look closer. If the hiring cost for the position approaches or exceeds the employee’s annual salary, this practice isn’t sustainable. Consider coaching and working with an imperfect employee instead of letting them walk out the door … taking your training investment with them.

    Minor Changes Improve Employee Satisfaction

    A few small changes that make your workplace feel safer, cleaner, more respectful, or more positive can encourage burned-out or ambitious employees to stay, instead of seeking work elsewhere. When you compare the cost of these improvements with the cost of hiring and staffing during the same year, the difference may surprise you. Even if these improvements include regular salary increases or expanded benefits, the numbers are likely to work in your favor.

    For more information on how to improve your workplace, boost your reputation, improve your management style and reduce your overall turnover, contact the expert staffing pros at Lift Temp.

  • Fired from a Manufacturing Job? How to Explain it in an Interview

    You’re looking for a position in manufacturing, and you have almost everything it takes to land the jobs that fall within your sights: you have the right set of skills and all the experience, ambition, and determination you need to get where you’re headed. You only have one problem: you were fired from your last manufacturing position, and you’re afraid this incident may haunt you. How can you address this minor blight on your record if you’re asked about it during your interview? Here are a few simple moves that can help.

    If you were laid off, don’t worry.

    Losing a job through no fault of your own is simply a rite of passage in our modern working world. There’s nothing about a layoff that needs to be spun, reframed, or hidden from potential employers. If your interviewer believes that a company restructuring or plant shut-down somehow reflects poorly on your personal record, the problem lies with that person, not with you.

    Know why your employer may be concerned.

    On the other hand, if you were fired due to a behavior or discipline problem or a performance issue, that’s another story. In this case, your employer has a right to be concerned about a possible repeat of the incident, and it’s in your best interests to allay these concerns. If you’re asked about the reason for your dismissal, keep your answer short, clear, and positive. Simply tell your side of the story and then stop talking.

    Don’t bring up the subject unless you’re asked.

    If you aren’t asked to provide the reason why you left your last job, by all means, don’t volunteer this information. You have no legal or ethical obligation to do so, and jumping in front of this potential problem can cause more harm than good. No matter you how long your employer chooses to dwell on the issue, always be ready to redirect the conversation away from this subject and back toward all the reasons why you’re right for this job. Focus on your skills and talents, not on a single damaging incident from your past.

    If you’re asked, explain what you learned from the experience.

    How did this incident help you grow as a potential employee and as a person? What did you learn about your abilities and your limits? What did you learn about the kinds of conditions under which you do and don’t excel? Are there any mistakes you made that you’ve learned to avoid from now on? If your interviewer decides to press the point, be ready to discuss what you gained from the moment and how it helped you reach a better place.

    For more on how to stay in control of your application and interview process, reach out to the job search team at Lift Temp.

  • Protecting Your Employees from Workplace Violence

    When most people hear the term “workplace violence,” they envision a physical attack or altercation between a boss and a direct report, or between two co-workers, possibly resulting from a workplace conflict or misunderstanding. But this is just one example of a wide range of behaviors that fall under this category, all of which can and should be prevented by proactive measures on the part of a responsible employer.

    Workplace violence can include a variety of situations including, but not limited to: written or verbal threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying, pranks, retaliation, or aggression on the part of customers or members of the public. Violence can be subtle or blatant, and can be enacted through invisible means, such as written, email, or text messages, voice messages, rumors, or property destruction. Behavior that demeans, alarms or embarrasses can also fall into the category of workplace violence.

    Situations that Increase the Likelihood of Violence

    There are several situations that appear to statistically escalate the possibility of violence in the workplace, including those listed below. Employers should increase vigilance and preventive measures during these occasions.

    Interactions between employees and the public.

    Any transactions that involve the exchange of money or prescriptions drugs.

    Transactions involving inspection or rule enforcement on the part of government employees or superiors.

    Situations in which employees are working alone or in small groups in isolated, low-traffic areas (for example, workplace vehicles or buildings disconnected from the central workplace).

    Certain time periods also correspond with higher incidents of workplace violence, including the following: Early and late hours of the morning and evening, pay days, periods of intense organizational change, performance evaluations, and holidays.

    Protecting Your Workplace from Violence

    In order to protect your workplace from violence, you’ll need to begin by assessing your level of risk. First, review your history of documented violent incidents and search this history for specific patterns. Then conduct research evaluating the history of violence in similar workplaces and similar industries.

    Once you’ve estimated your level of general risk, you can begin drafting a policy that clearly defines “workplace violence” for your purposes and describes all categories of unacceptable behavior. The policy should clearly state the consequences for these behaviors, and whether or not a no-tolerance rule will or won’t be applied.

    Be sure to include representatives from both the employee side and the management side of the table as you draft this policy, and include buy-in from vendors, contractors, and all other parties who conduct business in your workplace.

    For more information on how to prevent violence and abuse in your workplace, reach out to the staffing and management team at Lift Temp.