When it comes to managing HR issues, prevention is much more effective than trying to cure existing problems. This holds particular importance in Manufacturing, where technology and employment needs are constantly evolving.

Review the industry’s most prominent HR challenges below, and save yourself precious time by avoiding disputes and employment tribunal claims.

Top 5 HR Challenges in Manufacturing

Assess how your business is shaping up with the key questions provided for each HR challenge.

Recruitment and Retention

  1. Have all relevant staff been trained on the recruitment process?
  2. Are you investing enough resources into retention? (e.g. technology, upskilling)
Why?
• A bad process will leave you exposed to discrimination claims
• UK vacancies reached record high of 1.3m between Jan-Mar 2022
• Quarter of UK workers intend to seek new role in next 6-12 months

Our recommended approach
• Develop the employee experience to ensure everyone feels valued
• Consider internal mobility for ageing workers
• Keep notes on recruitment decisions to clearly demonstrate fair reasons for rejection

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  1. Do you have an equal opportunities policy?
  2. Are you gathering data on diversity and inclusion?
  3. Do you offer sufficient training on discrimination awareness?
Why?
• No minimum length of service is required to claim for discrimination
• There is no limit on compensation awards for discrimination claims
• In the event of a claim, the employer’s efforts to prevent discrimination are placed under the microscope

See Gehlen vs Allay Ltd.

Our recommended approach
• Deliver sufficient discrimination awareness training at regular intervals
• Conduct a thorough review of your equal opportunities policy

Employee Wellbeing

  1. Do you give equal importance to physical and mental health?
  2. Has this importance been communicated to your managers?
Why?
• 36,000 cases of stress/depression/anxiety in Manufacturing in 2020/21
• Leads to presenteeism, poor productivity, and increased absence
• May result in disability discrimination claims if not handled correctly (Equality Act 2010)

Our recommended approach
• Communicate policies on wellbeing to all levels of staff
• Foster a culture where people can talk about mental health and seek help where needed

Performance Management

  1. Do you set performance objectives for all employees?
  2. Are these objectives aligned with your organisational aims?
Why?
• Employers should have a system in place to improve performance
• If action is taken, it can lead to unfair dismissal claims
• Maximum compensation award for unfair dismissal is £93,878 or 52 weeks’ pay

See Are you managing performance effectively?

Our recommended approach
• Follow internal capability procedures in all instances
• Set relevant aims and objectives for performance review
• Avoid making ‘knee jerk’ decisions which sidestep formal review procedures

Policies and Documents

  1. When did you last review your HR policies?
  2. Do you issue contracts of employment to all employees?
Why?
• Policies must reflect changes in employment law and business needs
• Consider policies for ‘Living with Covid-19’ and ‘Long Covid’
• Employment contracts are a statutory requirement, also helping to prevent disputes

Our recommended approach
• Allocate time in the calendar to review policies and needs each year
• Consider policy implications during any organisational change
Contact us for a full review of your existing HR documentation, or for advice on a policy you don’t currently have

A specialist providers of HR, employment law, and safety support for manufacturers, we can help you to achieve compliance and minimise potential issues in your organisation.

Whether you’re looking for template documents, direct advice, legal support, or assistance with a longer term project, we can help.

Call our HR and employment law team today on 0345 076 2288 or complete the form below.