7 Reasons Why Employee Turnover is High In The Blue-Collar Industry

Have you ever wondered why every month you keep on losing your best employees? This is a sign of your business having a high employee turnover. Learn the top reasons why employees leave within the blue-collar industry, and how you can reduce this to a reasonable number.

Many companies in the blue-collar industry are perpetually baffled by why on earth their employee turnover could be so high. While it’s sometimes a more complex phenomenon, there are a handful of issues that are commonly the reason for employees leaving on a regular basis.

No company wants the reputation of having a high blue collar employee turnover. It can be detrimental to both your recruitment process and your public reputation. Most people would interpret it as being indicative of an unpleasant work environment.

If you’re in the blue-collar industry, these reasons may well be why your blue-collar employees leave to seek greener pastures.

1. Your Employees are Overworked

By the very nature of their jobs, blue collar workers fill roles that are exhausting. Manual labor takes its toll on even the fittest of individuals if they’re exerting themselves day in and day out.

Companies that don’t allow for adequate rest, time off, or push employees to work long hours and overtime are naturally going to see a high turnover of workers.

Understandably, your initial reaction might be to push your employees to work harder to stay ahead of schedule, bolster income revenue, and ultimately thrive as a company. Yet most people will not tolerate being overburdened for a prolonged period of time.

As soon as exhaustion, injury, or fatigue – or all three become an issue, workers will likely seek a less demanding work environment. This will result in the loss of valuable employees and high employee turnover.

2. A Lack of Opportunities

The drive for professional growth is so strong that, according to PWC’s Future of Recruiting, individuals are willing to sacrifice up to 12% of their salaries in the pursuit of development opportunities. In blue-collar industries, there is plenty of space for training and upskilling. Workers may be doing manual labor, but for example, the advancement from bricklaying or plastering to driving a crane is a desirable goal.

For blue-collar employees, basic training is the bare minimum. While not every employee will progress beyond their current role, there are many that wish to do so. Often, there is plenty of room for growth, however without an employer buy-in, employees simply cannot afford to progress. If employees who wish to upskill are not afforded the assistance they need, they are inclined to look for opportunities elsewhere.

3. Insufficient Communication and Feedback

A lack of communication is the precursor to a breakdown of any healthy working relationship. In the blue-collar sector, clear communication is key to getting the job done. All stakeholders need to communicate clearly, and every employee needs to be certain of their goals.

Communicating feedback is also the simplest and most effective means of ensuring your employees live up to expectations and meet deliverables. If you fail to give feedback, they will never adjust their behavior and thus, they cannot become a better employee. This may also affect their job progression, as they are passed over in favor of other workers who have met targets.

This breeds a sense of stagnation that is sure to frustrate all parties, and may well lead to their resignation.

4. Lack of Recognition

The failure to acknowledge – and to make your recognition known in some way – is sure to make any employee feel underappreciated. It’s important to note that recognition does not necessarily have to come from the big boss or a manager. The recognition of peers or co-workers is equally valuable in bolstering an employee’s sense of value.

Openly acknowledging an employee’s good work fosters a supportive work environment. When an individual feels appreciated, they are far less inclined to leave. Often, the work that blue-collar employees undertake requires a supportive environment. If this becomes tainted, working as a team is a struggle and may affect productivity and output. This leads to issues as performance takes a dip and the chance of recognition decreases further.

5. Poor Management

A lack of organization and professionalism amongst managers can be incredibly off-putting and easily drives high employee turnover. Poor management manifests itself in a multitude of forms. It may mean that a manager is incompetent, lacks organization, manipulates reports, or plays favorites. If word of this gets out, it can erode an otherwise positive company reputation.

In fact, many of the other reasons for having a high turnover such as a lack of recognition and feedback and being overworked can be attributed to managerial failings. A good manager needs to ensure that employees have the right tools for the job, are kept up to date with any project changes, have enough time off, and are well informed as to what’s required of them.

Employees leave if they feel rudderless in an environment where clear leadership is essential. This is especially true if a lack of leadership could make the environment dangerous, as is the case on a construction site or when working with heavy machinery.

6. An Exclusionary Work Environment

A lack of diversity in the workplace is always problematic, especially in a blue-collar industry where it’s predominantly male. While women are entering the industry, they are still the minority. Other prejudices may arise in an all-male environment too, such as those against homosexuality or gender fluidity.

When a worker feels that they are distinctly different in some way to the average employee, they will naturally feel that their needs are not represented and therefore not met. A lack of diversity functions as a giant neon red flag and will contribute to employee turnover rates.

Naturally, nobody wants to work in an exclusionary environment. And in today’s world, there are numerous prejudices that still rear their head in the workplace. This means that any employee who feels marginalized is likely to quit.

7. Poor Recruitment Processes

At the end of the day, you may have to chalk your high employee turnover rate up to poor recruitment processes. Recruitment for blue-collar workers isn’t always easy, as the work is more skills-based and learned, so it’s less provable. A good reference doesn’t necessarily mean great performance or a good fit for your team.

Hot Tip: Learn how employees craft perfect resumes to make sure you can filter the best for your company. This way you know which one to hire that can reduce the overall employee turnover.

If the wrong workers are initially recruited, trained, and employed then they are far less likely to continue working for your company. If employees leave regularly and high turnover is an ongoing issue, it’s worth reevaluating who is in charge of recruitment. If the aforementioned factors do not resonate, reconsidering recruitment may help you to get to the core of the issue.

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