In 2015, our ResourceMFG team surveyed nearly 2,500 manufacturing workers nationally, across skill categories and representing a wide range of manufacturers.

In the first two articles of this series on the ResourceMFG Manufacturing Employee Opinion Survey, we stated our primary goal of the project: to gain insight into critical workforce issues to help our clients make informed decisions as they staff their operations and strive for improved productivity.

We covered the overriding importance of fair and competitive starting hourly pay (ranked #1 in importance to the workforce), job security (#2), and benefits (#3).

Next, we reported results on these topics: why people leave a job, the dynamics of shift differentials, health insurance coverage, and, finally, the long term challenge of keeping pay rates from losing ground to rising costs of living.

Three more topics from the survey results deserve attention:

  1. Absenteeism:

    In this anonymous survey, nearly half of those surveyed (44.7%) believe it is unacceptable to miss (call off) more than one day of work per year. We believe this is an encouraging affirmation of job commitment.
    Manufacturing Workers' Opinion on the Acceptable Number of Days to Miss Work

  2. Paid Time Off:

    An overwhelming 87.5% of respondents prefer PTO over the equivalent in pay increases, a reminder, if nothing else perhaps, of the importance of work/life balance.

  3. Shift Preferences:

    There are strong preferences toward tradition shift schedules (and against 12-hour shift work), results worthy of study for those manufacturers contemplating schedule changes in this very challenging recruiting market.
    Manufacturing Workers Shift Preferences

In our 4th – and last – article in this series on the ResourceMFG Manufacturing Employee Opinion Survey, we will share some final thoughts – and recommendations – on how to take these survey results and apply them in your facility.