Responding to Employee Expectations

Today’s workers have high expectations for their jobs, employers, and industries. How can manufacturers meet these demands, and how can they make themselves appealing in a fiercely-competitive employment landscape?

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In today’s climate of employment, it can be difficult to understand why job-seekers aren’t attracted to your organization’s available positions. Throughout the 2020s, workers across North America have significantly heightened their expectations for what a job should provide — and, without meeting these expectations, manufacturers may face challenges sustaining their workforce. Modern employees demand a wide variety of benefits in addition to high compensation for manufacturing work, and employers that are unable to respond to this demand may suffer in all areas of their business’s performance. Let’s examine what today’s potential manufacturing labourer expects of their workplace, and determine how to address their demands proactively and effectively.

Before making any changes to your business’s recruitment processes or workplace culture, it’s important to gain a firm contextual awareness of this decade’s employment landscape. As has been well-documented, employees in every industry and sector have had the ability to re-evaluate their personal and professional goals over the past two years, and most are no longer interested in work that cannot provide immediate, tangible rewards. Manufacturers may not be able to appeal to these employees by offering empty platitudes — instead, they should promote aspects of their positions that are openly, clearly valuable, like high wages, increased supplemental support, or a work environment conducive to building cross-functional skills. This mindset should be kept in particular focus when trying to engage young workers. Consider that, in the modern world, there are many ways for young people to build their careers without performing physical labour. To compete with these alternative forms of employment, you’ll need to promote aspects of your position and organization that resonate with an audience that’s more knowledgable, sociable, and connected to global affairs than ever before.

When determining which aspects of your position would appeal to modern job-seekers, consider the role from these potential workers’ perspectives. If you were a member of this role’s target demographic, what would you value in a job and an employer? What personal and professional obligations could this role help you fulfill? What would make this position at this manufacturing company more attractive than a role at a different company? Crucially, what would make this position more appealing than a role outside of the manufacturing sector? Can this job compete with the vast, diverse array of opportunities available to today’s job-seekers? If so, what tangible benefits does it offer over those other positions? If this question cannot be answered, tweaks to the position may be needed (in duties, responsibilities, and benefits) to make it appealing. Remember that, in today’s employment landscape, your business is competing for job-seekers’ attention — not the other way around! By understanding the wants, needs, and motivations of your potential worker base, you can identify the aspects of your roles and organization that will most strongly resonate with them.

Responding to the demands and expectations of today’s job-seekers is doubtlessly a difficult task, but it’s one that’s must be undergone to maintain the size and capacity of your labour force. Competition for passionate, motivated talent has never been fiercer, and manufacturers must be proactive in appealing to the values of a well-informed, well-educated employee base. Take the time to identify what modern workers are drawn to and why, and you’ll have a steady understanding of how to attract a massive selection of potential labour.

For future discussions about meeting modern job-seekers’ expectations and building effective recruitment processes by contacting your region’s Manufacturing Consortium Manager. Attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise tailored to Canada’s manufacturing industry.

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