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Workforce challenges continue to hamper CPGs’ efforts for continuous improvement

Vision 2025, a new study from PMMI Business Intelligence, provides candid insight from key operations decision makers in food and beverage processing. Finding and training skilled workers is a universal problem.

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Conducted using face-to-face interviews at last year’s ProFoodTech show in Chicago, CPGs report difficulties in finding new employees, as well as training existing staff. Several CPGs even said that automation, often implemented as a solution to leaner manufacturing, causes additional problems as even more skilled workers are necessary to operate automated machinery. A few even have postponed automation projects because of this concern.

Depending on location, some CPGs report not being able to meet salary demands due to a robust regional or local competitive landscape. Millennials present particular challenges, with respondents saying their millennial employees demand instant gratification. Millennials, on the other hand, complain about a lack of upward mobility at the CPG company.

Balancing out constant time pressure to perform, while trying to find time to train and nurture the performers, is a source of frustration. Many CPGs reported that, while wearing several hats, they don’t necessarily see their colleagues having the same work ethic. And this was not just a generational issue, respondents felt their peers did not share the same work ethic.

To combat these problems, some CPGs report instituting brief trial periods for new associates to see if they are right for the company. This is a shorter period than traditional probationary periods. And most CPGs report developing programs for interns to expose them to the organization and to help them gain experience in manufacturing.

PMMI’s OpX Network has a quick reference infographic to help you engage your workforce.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, 2017 Vision 2025: ProFood Tech. For the complete report click here.

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