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Industrial Manufacturing Post-COVID Workforce

Industrial & Manufacturing Challenges in the Post-COVID Workplace

Monday Morning Rocketfuel

🚀 COVID-19 has changed many landscapes, including the industrial manufacturing space. As manufacturers start to take steps towards bringing their workforce back, let’s take a quick look at some of the challenges that are being faced.

Safety Measures

As the pandemic continues to change, industrial manufacturers have to keep safety measures in mind. As your workforce starts to return, as many jobs in the industrial industry cannot be carried out remotely, safety measures are a top concern for all.

Some important things to consider when it comes safety measures can include:

  • Putting sanitation efforts into place.
  • Working out the logistics for social distancing so that mobility is as smooth as possible.
  • Keep remote work where it’s possible.
  • Cut non-essential travel.

These are just a few of the suggested ways for manufacturers to consider when working through their safety measures. As more employees return, it will be important to keep everyone in the loop.

And remember, there will probably be a learning curve for everyone! This has been an unprecedented year and it’s stressful on all levels!

Continuity of Work

COVID-19 has certainly impacted the way that many people are working. For jobs that can only be done in person, that impact is even more apparent. As efforts to get a workforce back into the industry start, there are plenty of things to consider.

Many businesses have taken a staggered approach to bring employees back into work, whether they were put on paid or unpaid furlough or completely let go). Procedures will need to be put into place as these employees return to work. For more in-depth reading, part 1 in this Return to Work series by Holland and Knight offers some useful information.

Getting Workers to Come Back Safely

One big challenge to manufacturers is getting their workforce to return at all. Many families face childcare issues with kids learning remotely. Depending on the age of their children, it may not even be feasible for them to work on-site.

That means you’re either going to need to re-hire and retrain a whole new group of workers or rethink how your shifts work to accommodate a more flexible schedule.

COVID-19 Workplace Training

When safety protocols and the continuity of work have been addressed and employees that work on-site (whether they are on a manufacturing floor, handling fabrication work, installing equipment, etc…) start to return, it will be important to maintain effective communication.

Keeping everyone up-to-date on current guidance from the CDC and industry standards for safety, providing protective equipment that may be needed, and continually refining the re-entry process for on-site workers will go a long way to keeping communication open!

While the process may have variants for every business, company, and manufacturer out there, some of these basic ideas will be the same across the board. There are going to be many steps to the process of reopening and safely bringing industrial workforces back.

With concerns ranging from having to fill positions to the overall effects on workforces, there are a number of moving parts to take into consideration. With many in the manufacturing sector concerned about the impact that COVID will have/has had, taking steps to start on a plan can make a difference!

Challenge

If you haven’t already, take the first step towards starting on a safety plan for your employees when they start to return to work!

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Paige Lyman