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Workforce recruitment and retention is critical to the success of any business. The November-December 2017 edition of PalletCentral provided insights from our industry thought leaders on the topic.


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Labor Pool and Training

Posted By Jeff VanZeeland, Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We strongly believe in offering our employees a livable wage. For those who stay with FVWP for 2 years or more, most can expect wage, bonus and profit sharing. We have several production employees who make very good salaries, and we support these wages by staying efficient via maintaining a corporate culture that rewards and acknowledges success; setting measurable goals; and having our ownership group actively involved in daily operations. It is our job to communicate the value in what we do and reward people verbally and financially for a job well done.

We focus on locating high character people first, and then dedicate the training resources. Due to low unemployment rates, the pool of available quality candidates has dropped. Once we fill a position, it’s unlikely they've ever worked in a manufacturing setting, therefore training and patience is crucial. If someone shows up for work every day and has a good attitude, we’ll move their wages up within a few weeks, and continue to motivate and train them.

Our primary competition is for entry-level talent. Our region is full of small to mid-sized manufacturers also struggling to find talent. The pressure is on all of us. However, since most of the entry level positions require minimal education, we can offer competitive wages without educational strings attached as an advantage. Also, engage with the local high schools to find individuals that are not planning to attend college or a tech school.

Tags:  labor  labor pool  retention  training 

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Warehousing is Growing, Labor Shortages

Posted By Maria Lehman, Monday, March 5, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Warehousing is growing in our area, and I foresee that the labor supply will steadily get lower every year. We will need to stay competitive on the market. Working conditions, opportunities of advancement, location, public transportation availability, benefits, pay, employee recognition and engagement, company reputation, work ethics, management are all contributing factors.

Our main challenge is attracting candidates who have good work ethics. The work is highly physical, and in all weather conditions. For example, a good forklift driver could easily find work in a warehouse for the same pay and in a better environment. New and established warehouses, as well as manufacturers in Lehigh Valley, compete with us for labor, be it entry level or mid-management.

Consider solutions to strengthen and promote a culture of engagement, safety and accountability, all which can contribute to attracting, and retaining, qualified and loyal employees. Some ways to achieve said goals are:

-       Empowering our managers to seek and offer solutions from within; accountability for themselves and for their teams.

-       Having structured processes and training for employees, managers, supervisors and team leads.

-       Continually check the pulse of the workforce from job posting to hire, through orientation, training and starting their job, providing them feedback through regular performance reviews, and showing them a career path if that interests them.

Tags:  competitive benefits  culture  labor  labor pool  shortages 

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