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April 29, 2020
Latest podcast explores employee retention in the digital era.

In the latest Manufacturing Tomorrow's Workforce podcast, Amanda Del Buono or our sister publication Control interviews Joe McMurry, peer group solutions consultant for the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The two explore ways that manufacturers can limit turnover by boosting employee-retention strategies.

Note: This episode was recorded before the coronavirus outbreak; comments about the unemployment rates have changed since this was recorded. 

Amanda: What is employee retention? Why should it be important to our manufacturers today? Does everybody need to have the Google reputation of, kind of, a free for all in their companies to be able to keep people, or what are we looking at today?

Joe: So, employee retention is basically creating an environment where your employees want to stay with your company. And manufacturers, in particular, are struggling with this right now, in part because unemployment numbers are so low, and there's a lot of jobs available. And so, a lot of manufacturers are really struggling to keep full staff and to get them to show up every day. That's another issue that's going on, so attendance as well. Why is it important? Well, of course, if we don't have a full complement of people on a given day, then we struggle to meet customer demand. And a lot of manufacturers are struggling with this, just not having enough people to meet all the demand that they have.

Another thing, of course, is that if we have turnover, we tend to drive up our costs. Hiring an employee is much more expensive than keeping the ones we have. In order to bring them aboard, to retrain, or to train brand new employees versus continue the training with the employees that we have just is much more costly to manufacturers. So, employee retention is a very, very important thing for manufacturers today. Do you have to have Google's reputation to do it? Absolutely not. I have a saying when we talk about retention is, "Are we giving our employees a seat at the break table?" And that sounds like a funny saying, but a lot of times, our retention issues happen in the first few weeks or months of employment. And so, one of the things that I really urge manufacturers to do is be able to create an environment where the employees feel like they belong and are part of the team very, very quickly.

The full podcast is embedded above. Read the rest of the transcript here. 

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