Posted on: Wednesday May 03, 2017
This article was originally posted by Kerry Wrigglesworth, Business Development Manager at Personal Group on LinkedIn Contact Kerry on LinkedIn
Using effective communications in order to retain staff in the Food Manufacturing Industry
The UK food manufacturing industry is more dependent than most on non UK workers to fill a large proportion of roles. In January 2017 it was reported that 36% of employees in the UK food manufacturing industry are non-UK nationals. With Brexit looming, retention rates are expected to suffer, and some employers have already seen significant drops in the level at which they are retaining and recruiting employees due to the fear over new Brexit red tape. Many are anticipating significant cost increases in recruitment and further challenges for ongoing employee retention.
A recent survey from the EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, found that 72% of UK manufacturers are “concerned about finding the skills their businesses need” over the next three years. With the cost of replacing a departing employee in 2014 sat at over £30,000 (the logistical costs of recruitment plus the lost productivity and output during training) this figure is only likely to increase post Brexit for those industries reliant on non UK labour.
Even before article 50 was triggered, the EEF report were predicting cost increases and greater challenges ahead; "A combination of the new National Living Wage, the apprenticeship levy and the proposed immigration skills charge will create a large additional tax wedge and drive up the costs of employment in the UK. The challenges of finding, funding, retaining and training skilled workers are therefore all likely to increase in 2016 and beyond."
With this backdrop in mind, most managers I speak to are focusing on staff retention and recruitment. For your industry the additional challenge is creating a communication and engagement strategy for those employees who are harder to reach, those employees that are in a factory for 9 hours a day and not sat in front of a computer screen. I work with Hapi, a communication and engagement platform that sits on your employees smartphones Our 50-strong engagement team act as an extension to your benefits team, visiting each location and helping employees make the most of the employee services and benefits that your business can provide, and the app means that they can access it whenever and wherever they are. The combination of face to face launch and placing the communications channel in the palm of their hands means that HR comms and staff notifications can be pushed out to each employee as they start or finish their shift, and it means that staff can access their benefits, see their pay slip or book a discounted family day out as easily as they can use their other apps.
The result? More engaged, better informed, happier and more productive employees and a handy communication tool for management teams who have historically struggled to reach and engage with their blue-collar work force.