HR managers in recent times have resembled a person frantically trying to lay tracks in front of a moving train. From Brexit and Covid to economic downturns and supply chain bottlenecks resulting from the war in Ukraine, Human Resources professionals have had to rapidly adapt policies so employees can be present on-site and manufacturing can continue.

This is why today’s HR leaders are constantly exploring new options to reshape the workplace in an effort to ensure work continuity and productivity. And, as 2022 reaches its midpoint, several key HR trends are already shaping the way we work in manufacturing:

Compelling communication
The companies offering clear, concise and continuous communication have helped their employees to feel more connected to their organisations, especially in times where market forces are creating uncertainty around job security.

Technological upskilling
HR leaders who provide specific training programs to upgrade the technological capabilities of existing employees are both future-proofing their jobs and increasing overall productivity. Skills like robotics and AI proficiency can be incorporated into training programs and staffing plans when HR leaders understand their company’s tech roadmap.

Value-based assessment
The shift from objective measurements to value-based assessments is accelerating in performance management systems. Today’s essential competencies include Adaptability, Change Management, Creativity & Innovation, and new kinds of assessments are needed to stay on top of the impact employees create in relation to productivity.

Employees’ well-being
The wellness insights resulting from the pandemic define how companies operate today. It is now crucial to take a human-centric approach to employee experience. For example, many companies now proactively monitor the well-being of their employees through 1:1 meetings, surveys, and other tools. Managers are key, as they are the front-line workers who both monitor and act according to the situation.

Employee retention
It is clearly more cost effective and less disruptive to retain and develop the employees you currently have. By offering meaningful work, setting clear goals, and communicating in a clear way, companies can boost their employee’s morale and their long-term commitment to the company.

Positive environment
Building a strong culture that improves morale is essential – especially in manufacturing –to keep your workforce engaged. Aside from collaboration and continuous communication, there is a developing trend to educate workforces on how to get the most value out of benefit schemes along with ensuring that benefit schemes are in fact being effectively taken advantage of by factory workers. Social programs along with recognising and rewarding employees are also used to great effect to make workers feel appreciated and recognised.

Younger talent
Freshly graduates and apprentices engaged under various disciplines is an additional need for today’s competitive market. Manufacturing organisations are now receiving government support from programs like Made Here Now, which aims to attract younger talent into manufacturing.

As we look to the second half to 2022, rising energy prices and supply chain problems are likely to impact manufacturing in some way. It is now more important than ever to bring your organisation together, rally around a common goal, and make the most out of the talent and resources you have at your disposal. HR leaders can play a critical role in making this happen.