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Why Employees Stay

Why Employees Stay

July 16, 2021
Eight in 10 workers said they stay with their employer because they enjoy the work, says Manufacturing Institute.

A new study, the Manufacturing Engagement and Retention Study, released on July 15 by The Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research, in partnership with the American Psychological Association, looked at best practices for worker retention.

“With 814,000 jobs open in manufacturing, there has been a great deal of attention on recruitment, but part of the equation is also retention,” said Carolyn Lee, The Manufacturing Institute's executive director. ”As the study shows, not all employees are motivated by the same factors. It’s important to understand key differences among employee groups so that we can continue to foster the most engaging, productive and inclusive workplaces possible.”

Key findings include the following:

  • Eight in 10 workers said they stay with their employer because they enjoy the work.
  • Employees under age 25 said they stay with their current employer because of training and development (69%) and career opportunities (65%).
  • Employees who feel valued were more than four times as likely to report high levels of work engagement (59% vs. 13%) and less likely to say they feel stressed out on a typical workday (16% vs. 66%) or that they plan to leave the company within the next year (2% vs. 12%).
  • More than 9 in 10 senior leaders are satisfied with training and development, compared to two-thirds of frontline workers.
  • While competitive pay and benefits are important, designing work in a way that increases positive experiences on the job can be an effective approach to improving retention.
  • The most sophisticated retention efforts employed by manufacturing leaders include ensuring every individual understands how their efforts are linked to overall company success and equipping frontline managers to support workers.

Common areas to address to improve retention cited by manufacturing leaders:

  • Employee recognition programs
  • Internal communication
  • Clear career paths
  • Better management training (especially “soft skills”)

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