Hello - I’m an HR Manager supporting our operations (hourly) employees all across the US. Turnover is pretty high and wondering if other manufacturing/production industries are experiencing the same?

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Yes, we are seeing the same in distribution and we cannot pin point the “why.” When they leave they’re not necessarily leaving for more money, they’re not saying it’s anything internal. I think if they don’t like something they know there’s a lot of other opportunities paying the same pay range and they would rather just start over versus communicating concerns or sticking it out. I believe this is what we will continue to see in positions that pay anywhere from $18-$35 an hour.

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This is correct. I have said this many times, most people are conflict avoiders. It is either three things; Management, lack of opportunities for future growth or pay. This is why it is very important for larger scale companies, especially if the turnover rate is high, to have employee surveys in place. I have heard employees complain about their pay, but also refuse to ask for a pay raise because they feel that they shouldn’t have to. Also, high workload or struggling with their duties, but refuse to bring it to upper management.

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Have you considered stay interviews with your highest impact people? It can be of dual purpose gaining retention and better understanding of attrition causes..

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Yes we have quarterly Glint surveys that go out to all of our employees, operations included, to gain that feedback!

We are experiencing the same in our production and distribution facilities- we have been raising pay and benefits over the last 6 months but in our exit conversations we are hearing that people are finding better pay.

It seems crazy to me since we are now at starting rate $20 and highest $33 but cannot find a way to combat.

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Same here! We’ve been raising wages since 2020 and have seen minor improvements but nothing that has drastically helped.

We have that same issue in our manufacturing plant. We’re just one location with roughly 300 employees. Our turnover is extremely high and majority of the time when they leave it’s abandonment or walking off the shift. We’ve tried to get the “why” but most often we aren’t able to get feedback or pinpoint what exactly made them leave. It’s exhausting. We have a bonus program that rewards just showing up for every shift and making up missed hours if you do miss. We offer food on the weekends. We have been and are still struggling to keep and find people to stay.

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On the same boat. I was going through our metrics and we did a ton of hiring last month and early this month. Out of all those employees, not one was retained, a lot of job abandonment. Sign on bonuses and shift differentials are not enough. Wages were raised, and I don’t have concrete feedback on why employees don’t stay.

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My company is in distribution/ wholesale and the reasons people leave are just all over the board. Job abandonment/walking off shift happens a lot. I’ve been trying to do some investigating, and I’ve found some issues with particular managers which we are trying to address and fix.
We’ve increased pay rates, changed schedules for some departments to be more desirable and it’s still a bit of a revolving door. I’m pretty sure the crux of it is that a lot of people don’t want to do this type of work anymore, or rather do it for a higher pay rate. Some of our locations are in the middle of dense distribution and manufacturing areas (Amazon, Walmart, Rubbermaid, cvs, soda companies, food distribution for example) as well as a high growth, expensive area of the country. I see this trend continuing for a while. I take each resignation or notice on case by case because the reasons are so varied. I can only help fix the things I can control. I monitor the pay rates in the area, trends in the market, any talk of poor managers or leadership.

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To all those posting of same issues - has anyone tried doing random annonymous survey for employees of how they feel about their role/work/management/hours/pay? From a psychologic perspective, people don't speak up for many different reasons but most will have a say if they stay anonnymous. In my opinion, you should find out why they leave way before they decide to quit

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We have a fair amount of turnover in the same type roles. We’ve been able to keep most of those wanting movement just by creating clearer paths for upward mobility with increasing pay. Those who have left, left for roles we didn’t currently have available or aren’t quite large enough to have created yet - they were good opportunities. Pay is for sure part of the motivation for seeking new roles but generally we’ve found most also just want career advancement, sometimes a change in field altogether (we’ve had people move from manufacturing into corporate services type roles), and they realize now is a great time to do it with multiple options at their fingertips.

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Love this!

Do you have an exit survey in place? We’ve experienced the same in my industry & it’s been extremely beneficial to review datasets attributed to reasons for departure. It also gives strong backing to presenting initiatives to combat the issue/helps to gain buy in.

We do! But the employees are long gone before we even get a chance to speak with them. They will usually NCNS and then never return our calls/emails. It’s been extremely hard getting feedback from exiting employees in Operations.

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We have seen the same thing in our plants but I would agree I think people are hopping around and trying things out. We have had a ton of folks leave in General Labor and come back in 4 months and go through the 3 month cycle with us and leave again. We offer great insurance plans, medical clinics, vacation match, and hiring and retention bonuses. I’m over employment and even the applicant flow has slowed down.

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