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6 Strategies for Retaining Top Food Manufacturing Talent

top talent

6 Strategies for Retaining Top Food Manufacturing Talent

As we are now living in a world that has been changed by the pandemic. Your employee retention strategy must be better than ever, especially in food manufacturing.

A pre-pandemic Retention Report by the Work Institute (2019) found that “one in three workers would voluntarily leave their job by 2023”. And this has only increased due to significant shifts in the market due to Covid-19.

The effects of the pandemic are going to be felt in food manufacturers for years to come. Employee retention needs to be a key focus in order to ensure you are keeping your team engaged and satisfied in their roles.

Hiring for replacement team members is not something any food manufacturer wants to be doing right now. So an excellent employee retention strategy is essential.

The following 6 strategies will help.

1. Discover Who You’re Overlooking

To ensure you are providing excellent leadership for your entire team and making them feel valued. First, it is essential that you find out if you are overlooking anyone in your team.

Manufacturing teams will naturally include individuals with all manner of skills, experience and personality types.

But in most manufacturing teams, there will also be team members who shine brighter than others. Extroverts tend to get noticed more than introverts. Some team members are more likely to speak up if they have a problem. Whereas others will try to work through challenges on their own.

As a leader, it is essential that everyone is getting the right amount of support that they need and that you are not overlooking anyone.

Food manufacturing leaders will naturally look to middle managers and other higher-profile employees. But to be a great leader, you must ensure the highest level of employee retention. Remember that each and every team member must feel valued and supported.

2. Create Unlimited Opportunities for Growth

According to a recent LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would stay longer with their employer if they invested more in developing their careers.

Many food manufacturing employers will get to the point where they have a great team in place and think that their job is ‘done.

But continual training and development is a key part of every employee retention strategy. We find that talented candidates who look for new manufacturing roles often cite a desire to develop themselves and their careers further as a reason for leaving.

No one wants to be stuck in a role where they feel as though progression is an unlikely possibility.

So invest in robust training and development for your team. It can be anything from personal development training to allowing them time to learn new manufacturing skills.

personal growth

3. Demonstrate Excellent Values and Ethics

The most desirable food manufacturing employees are looking for employers with impressive values and ethics.

And this has been accelerated by the pandemic. We are all thinking much more about what is really important to us. So working for a company they believe in is high on every manufacturing employee’s list of priorities.

Manufacturing employees are more empowered than ever. With social media and online review culture creating an environment where they need to be honest and transparent is more crucial than ever.

How active is your company at demonstrating your values and ethics? Do you champion diversity and inclusion? Are you financially transparent?

Fail to demonstrate excellent values, and you risk losing your employees to a more ethical company.

4. Give Employees a Purpose

It is not enough to give employees a fair remuneration package. Employees are increasingly looking for a greater sense of purpose in their work.

The best way to find out if your employees feel a sense of meaning and purpose in their work is to talk to them.

Ask them what is important to them in their roles, and make any alterations you can to help them feel a greater sense of purpose. This could involve introducing tools to make their jobs easier, and thus, more valued, or working together to improve your products or services to give greater customer satisfaction.

And create a mission statement that helps employees to understand how their work positively impacts the world.

5. Enhance Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is the thread that links employees to the organisation – all employees want to work for a company to which they feel aligned.

Look closely at what your competitors are doing. If you slip in terms of promoting and maintaining an excellent employer brand, this gives employees the opportunity to look elsewhere and to be tempted to leave to work for a brand with a better reputation and culture.

Your digital footprint is key in creating a strong employer brand that your employees will feel proud to be a part of.

Think about what you post and how often. Food manufacturing employees like to see that their employer is actively engaged in current manufacturing topics, is invested in the wellbeing of the team and is a transparent and communicative employer.

Get your employees involved in team strengthening events. Use your social media to champion your current employees. Celebrate birthdays, life events and little wins within the organisation.

And finally, let’s look at how a great recruitment strategy is always essential when it comes to employee retention.

employer brand

6. Get Your Recruitment Strategy Right

Employee retention all starts with your recruitment process.

When you start your manufacturing employees off on the right foot with an excellent recruitment and onboarding process, this sets the tone for a mutually beneficial employer-employee relationship.

Studies reveal that the better the onboarding process, the lower the turnover.

A shocking 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days, and this is mostly down to a poor onboarding process.

Onboarding is part of the recruitment process, and yet many food manufacturers believe that recruitment stops the moment the candidate accepts the job offer.

Invest in your recruitment and onboarding process, and you will start to see a higher rate of employee retention.

Finally

A certain amount of staff turnover is unavoidable.

But follow the steps in this guide to improve unnecessary employee turnover in your food manufacturing organisation.

It’s never easy to lose a great employee, but when you work with a specialist food manufacturing recruiter, they can help you create the right recruitment and onboarding process to ensure your retention rates remain high, increasing employee engagement and lowering your overall costs of recruitment.

To find out how we can help you find your next food talent, get in touch with us on 07835426149 email us here [email protected] or connect on LinkedIn

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Scott Williams

Scott Williams

I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit - Search & Selection. Passionate about the Food Manufacturing industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.

I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long-standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.