Workforce Institute

A Turning Point for Manufacturing

The UKG Workforce Institute surveyed more than 300 manufacturing HR leaders in 2023, revealing a set of organizational priorities that align to help manufacturers diversify recruitment, strengthen the frontline-employee experience, and better support frontline managers in a vital effort to curb employee turnover while responding to an unsustainable rise in demand for manufactured goods and services.

Annual UKG Survey Explores Best Practices to Resolve Manufacturing’s Frontline-Labor Dilemma

“By and large, our research shows most organizations are taking meaningful steps to close the manufacturing skills gap that threatens to immobilize the U.S. economy if left unchecked; they understand the assignment and are looking to people-focused initiatives and technology advancements to strengthen recruitment and retention,” said Kylene Zenk, director of the manufacturing industry practice at UKG.

Survey findings help illustrate how the manufacturing sector’s labor supply is recovering from a pandemic and its tumultuous aftereffects, while further analysis from UKG identifies weaknesses in manufacturers’ recruitment practices that, if corrected, could substantially decrease the industry’s daunting skills gap.

Key survey findings:

  • 76% of manufacturers are struggling to fill critical labor gaps.
  • Around 3 in 5 manufacturers reported an increase in employee turnover (62%) and unfilled jobs (57%) at their organizations over the prior year. 
  • 88% agree diverse teams are typically “more creative and innovative,” yet fewer than 1 in 4 manufacturers (24%) are proactively recruiting women, and just 39% consider diverse hiring a “high priority” for their organizations. 
  • 80% of manufacturers admit to having two separate cultures: one for frontline workers and one for everybody else.
  • 9 in 10 are actively trying to set up more flexible work arrangements for frontline employees (87%) and proactively seeking new ideas from frontline workers to improve workplace processes (87%).

Read the press release in our Newsroom.