Most companies know the severe shortage of manufacturing skills in the United States has the potential to impede future growth. Manufacturers are having difficulty filling skilled and highly skilled manufacturing roles. When companies find good people they are being as creative as possible to keep those trusted employees. Manufacturers can maintain productivity and sustain profitability by building a talent supply chain with the needed skills to fuel growth, and then developing and retaining the skilled talent over time.
One Tulsa manufacturer is investing in its workforce by providing a state-of-the-art and comprehensive wellness program. Rather than just providing a discount on a gym membership or access to an employee assistance program, Bama Cos. took a holistic approach to employee wellness for its 900 Tulsa employees.
“We want our employees to have good coverage that they can afford, but the second piece of that is the health and wellness part,” Amy McKee, senior benefits analyst, recently told the Tulsa Business & Legal News. “We’ve taken a holistic approach to employee wellness. Not only do you have to eat well, you have to exercise and be mentally strong to navigate life.”
The company has put several plans into place, and team members have affordable access to counseling and nutritional counseling. “That is something we really had to work with our provider to include because it isn’t a normal benefit,” McKee says.
Bama has three fitness centers, one at each facility along with a team member on site who organizes classes that focus on that individual plant. “The classes are based on feedback from the team members,” McKee says. “Do they want yoga? Do they want Zumba and at what time of the day? We’ve really been able to pull team members into the facility at a 20 percent utilization rate. We expect to see that number grow.”
They’ve also started a new program called Bama Fit. The manufacturer employees a six-month program that gives them free visits to Nutritional Consultants of Tulsa, free visits with the trainer, free visits with the mental health counselors and free visits with the doctor at the company’s health care provider.
A shortage of skilled talent exists in the manufacturing industry, and this shortage is likely to become more severe in the coming years. Manufacturing as an industry has become more efficient through automation, which has resulted in a smaller workforce overall. At the same time, productivity has steadily increased. Although the workforce is smaller, a greater percentage of remaining U.S. manufacturing roles are skilled workers who need many months and, in some cases, years of experience and training to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. That’s why keeping good employees is so important.
This infographic offers a few quip tips on combating the skills shortage. For more information on setting up a program to retain skilled workers, drop us an email at email@example.com