Embracing Holistic Employee Care: The Secret to High Retention in the Manufacturing Industry

Whether adding to a healthy supply chain or driving technological advancement, manufacturing is essential to a thriving economy. But, like other industries, the manufacturing sector is facing its fair share of challenges, from maintaining employee loyalty to drawing in new talent.

To help companies understand these hurdles, MetLife conducted its 21st annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study (2023). The study sheds new light on employee satisfaction and its main contributors. More than ever, employees express a growing need for employers to take  greater interest in their overall well-being, as well as provide a more holistic workplace experience.

Redefining employee care

The term “employee care” is taking on new meaning in the workplace. Our study reveals that 82% of employees want employers to take an interest in their wellness—both in and outside of work. Increasingly, employees want to feel valued for their accomplishments and cared for as individuals. They seek work environments with a strong sense of belonging and purpose—and look to their managers to create these conditions daily. Embracing employee care is a powerful strategy to drive talent outcomes throughout an organization.

Here, we’ll discuss five core elements that can foster a happier, healthier manufacturing workforce.

1.  Purposeful work
Prioritizing purposeful work should be a top priority, as nearly six out of ten workers consider it a “must-have.” Manufacturing can be an incredibly rewarding industry, as it produces goods that make a tangible impact in peoples’ lives. To revitalize employee engagement, employers should articulate a clear purpose for each role—and continually reiterate how everyone’s contributions collectively make a positive difference.

2. Social and supportive culture
70 percent of employees view managerial support as a form of employee care, and 64 percent actively seek recognition for their accomplishments. Recognizing workers’ successes can transform the manufacturing environment, and nurturing camaraderie and teamwork is vital for a seamless workflow and a positive work culture.

3. Flexibility and work-life balance
Currently, only 83% of manufacturing workers say their employer provides an avenue for a healthy work-life integration. With its physical demands, manufacturing can easily be taxing. Coming up with ways to introduce more flexibility into the employee experience will afford employees with more opportunities to tend to their well-being—and return to work holistically healthier.

4. Career development and training
Professional growth is critical to empowering and investing in employees. With only half (53%) of onsite workers satisfied with their career development, it’s critical for manufacturing employers to provide more upskilling opportunities—whether in the form of technical, leadership, or safety training and certifications.

5. Wellness programs and benefits
With heavy machinery and other hazardous procedures, a manufacturing work environment may pose higher risks for injuries. Health benefits like disability insurance can create a sense of financial reassurance for people recovering from work-related accidents—and it’s even listed as a priority benefit for 77% of employees.

Elevating the manufacturing workforce

Employees who feel cared for by their employer are three times more likely to feel holistically healthy, leading to 92% higher engagement and 65% increased company loyalty likelihood. Incorporating our five elements of employee care can help employers address industry and talent challenges—and reinvigorate the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

Looking to enhance employee wellness with short- and long-term disability insurance? View MetLife’s offerings to learn more.

Contact to Learn More

Brenda NalettBrenda Nalett
Director of Insurance and Services
Call 517-487-8512