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Effective management is crucial to the operations of any manufacturing organization.

Management’s Role in Employee Retention

Not only do managers bear the responsibility of their departments’ performance — they act as critical links between employees and company leadership, facilitating communication and the spread of important data throughout the corporate ladder. In an era when skilled labour is more difficult to acquire than ever, managers take on an additional role: ensuring that employees remain loyal to their organizations.

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Effective management is crucial to the operations of any manufacturing organization. Not only do managers bear the responsibility of their departments’ performance — they act as critical links between employees and company leadership, facilitating communication and the spread of important data throughout the corporate ladder. In an era when skilled labour is more difficult to acquire than ever, managers take on an additional role: ensuring that employees remain loyal to their organizations. Over the past decade, workers’ mental health has become an increasingly prominent issue, and one that has a significant impact on employee retention. As the form of leadership that workers most commonly interact with, managers must understand how to constructively address the emotional needs of their labour force to keep them motivated, engaged, and interested in their positions. By doing so, managers contribute heavily to the sustained productivity of their companies, and achieve their primary goal of ensuring employee success.

One of the challenges that managers often run into after being promoted is an inability to communicate with their workforce. Leadership is functionally different from manual labour, and newly-appointed managers may require some form of immediate guidance to prevent mistakes from being made. Fortunately, a wide variety of resources are available to leaders for help with understanding their new role’s responsibilities. Through leadership training initiatives like EMC’s Manufacturing Essentials Certification and EMC-Harvard Supervisory Certificate programs, managers can gain and develop essential employee administration skills from experienced HR professionals, and discover timely leadership strategies to empower their workers’ efforts. These courses allow leaders to apply several different management strategies in a controlled environment, and, as they are typically attended by supervisors across a diverse range of industries, offer ample opportunity for building and learning from a consistent peer network.

Another issue that can prevent supervisors from maintaining mutually-beneficial relationships with their workforce is an imbalance in employee dynamics. Differences in roles and responsibilities can often create boundaries between leaders and labourers, preventing effective communication from being held. Managers can circumvent these challenges by taking a proactive role in employee engagement. Previous Newsroom content has discussed the importance of positive acknowledgement by leadership — recognizing employee successes, identifying worker strengths, rewarding high levels of passion and loyalty — but leaders should also have the ability to address their labour force’s emotions. Contextual awareness is an extremely important part of management, and leaders that demonstrate a genuine willingness to listen to and provide support for their employees during periods of high stress help to foster a safe, comfortable working environment that labourers will be eager to perform in. Having a supportive, trustworthy leader that they can consistently rely upon eliminates feelings of reluctance and anxiety in workers, keeping them focused on fulfilling their own duties.

There’s no doubting that the role and expectations of managers, supervisors, and leaders has changed throughout the past several years. By meeting and surpassing these expectations, managers re-assert their organizations as ideal places to work, keeping their labour forces content and stoking productivity and efficiency throughout every rung of the corporate ladder.

To discuss future sessions on this topic, please contact Craig Mannell, EMC’s Manufacturing Consortium Manager for Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Owen Sound & Area. We encourage you to attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise for the Canadian manufacturing industry.

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