One of a wood furniture manufacturing business’ biggest challenges is finding skilled workers. Even when the economy shows that there are more workers than ever out there seeking employment; it can be difficult to fill open positions.
Add to that the shift in our workforce as younger generations are considering their potential career choices and entering the workforce. Very different from previous generations, the up-and-coming generations can require more initial support, more engagement and time.
The big question is how to you reach these job-seekers and offer them valuable job positions that they will be interested in keeping? We’ve put together a few tips on reaching the future generations of furniture manufacturers:
Share your expertise.
What better way to reach the future generation of manufacturing workers than to work together with colleges, schools and technical training providers in developing training materials and programs? Furniture manufacturers know their industry better than anyone else and are the perfect partner to ensure that future generations are receiving training that will prepare them to perform the tasks and meet industry demands head on.
Share your time.
Sharing your expertise by volunteering as a guest speaker in classes or career days/expos is a great way to reach the future generation of furniture manufacturers! There are many STEM-oriented classes and career-focused efforts at all levels of education. Be present and offer valuable insights and an inspiring message. Keep in mind your local economy and factors unique to your local area. You can often find very creative ways to provide something meaningful locally.
Create an excellent workplace atmosphere.
This isn’t about offering frivolous perks. This is about valuing and rewarding all levels of workers within a workplace. Creating a fulfilling career option in the furniture manufacturing industry for young people will hinge on understanding what unique challenges they face and providing efforts to reduce or help them meet these. It is also about knowing your business and understanding what you can accommodate and what you can’t. Find ways to make working in your industry attractive and rewarding to the next generation.
Invest in the next generation.
Make a point of investing in extra-curricular clubs and community organizations, or sponsor a junior sports team etc. Donate time and money and have a genuine interest in these initiatives succeeding. If you are involved at these levels, you will build up rapport on multiple levels and get in touch with future generations.
Demonstrate your business values in a hands-on approach.
Another great way to invest is by contributing or developing a scholarship or grant fund for students to pursue furniture manufacturing related training. On a smaller level, providing training and paying for certifications or other training courses for your own staff can be an attractive incentive for employees.
Be a great place to work! If you are demanding more than what is fair, your employees will likely turn-over quickly. Keep your salaries competitive, and provide health and/or dental benefits. Often wages must be kept within a budget to maintain profitability; but you can very likely find other ways to supplement wages through other things like flexible work arrangements etc. Keep in mind local needs and how you could meet those or leverage those to create a great workplace that sees your job done, and your employees happy!