Coworker surplus

Published On: December 9th, 2021|Categories: Blog|

You read that right, PlastiCert is not experiencing a shortage, we have more applicants than positions.

Years ago, we saw the writing on the wall, that the labor force would begin to shrink. Retirements, daycare issues, the shrinking of the rural population, there are a sizable number of reasons for the phenomenon, but it is nationwide. In Enterprise Minnesota’s 2021 State of Manufacturing Survey, hiring was the second highest concern among surveyed manufacturers.

So, some time ago, we resolved to both, make ourselves better known within the community, and gain a reputation as a desired place to work.

We embarked on an effort to participate or support in local activities, celebrations, and service groups. We donate money to our volunteer fire department, our EMS ambulance group, city hall for parks improvement, our local chamber, our local Heartland Days Celebration, The Fools Five a local cancer benefit run, our local school system through committee participation and monetary support. The list goes on.

We also looked inwardly. Working to enhance our annual profit-sharing program by increasing productivity and reducing scrap. We made benefits come active earlier in a new coworker’s tenure. We added two additional holidays to the calendar and added three PTO days for our coworkers last minute needs. We added dental insurance to our health package. We look for opportunities to celebrate the little things in life. We held summer grill out lunches bi-weekly from May until October. We cater in lunch for special occasions and holidays. Perhaps most important, we listen to our people when they have something to say.

The result has been a stream of candidates coming to our door asking to fill out applications.

In September at a cancer fund raising auction, someone stopped me in the parking lot asking me about one of my winning bids. It was high dollar, and he knew that I had actually donated it in the first place and then bought it back when the bidding was not high enough. He suggested donating back again next year. I told him I would likely give it to one of my retiring coworkers. He replied, “I heard that about you, you take good care of your people.”

Your supplier complaining about a worker shortage? Late deliveries blamed on headcount and throughput? Give us a call. While we have supply chain issues like most, we do not have a people problem!

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