The Manufacturing Workforce in 2022: Restraints, Predictions, and Implications

Manufacturers are not immune from the impact of the worker shortage that shows little to no sign of ceasing. Heres how to rebuild the talent pipeline.

The talent market has been severely disrupted, and manufacturers are not immune from the impact of the worker shortage that shows little to no sign of ceasing.

Systematic changes within the industry’s hiring and retention practices can come to fruition if implemented swiftly and strategically. By investing in talent and innovation, manufacturers can ensure the interrupted economic recovery in the industry can get back on track.

Meeting the Challenges of the Manufacturing Workforce Crisis

If there is one thing to prioritize in the year ahead, it must be the people shortage plaguing the industry. 73% of CEOs in the manufacturing industry say hiring challenges are impacting their ability to operate their business at full capacity, according to a recent Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey.

Closing the skills gap and finding workers are key factors hampering the growth of the manufacturing industry. In the Vistage survey, 63% of manufacturing business leaders say they have plans to expand their workforce in 2022.

To achieve this, the talent pipeline must be rebuilt through partnerships. Manufacturers must partner with their governments, communities, and workforce organizations to provide appropriate training and coaching programs for existing workers and potential new hires. 2022 provides a significant opportunity to create and expand innovative programs to retrain manufacturing workers.

You Can Change Your Wages,
But You Can Also Change Your Culture

Manufacturing leaders are beginning to understand how important culture really is. According to the Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey, 73% of manufacturing leaders boosted wages during 2021 in response to difficulties hiring workers.

But it’s going to take more than wage increases to retain talent in 2022. Manufacturers can tap into a foundation of culture by empowering their people and providing ongoing learning opportunities. 61% of manufacturing leaders surveyed by Vistage said they are committed to developing their existing workforce to meet hiring challenges. As companies bounce back and plan their business continuity strategies, a strong, authentic culture must be part of the foundation.

When Consumers Reach Their Breaking Point

The overall supply chain problem is going to get worse before it gets better. According to the Vistage CEO Confidence Index, 57% of CEOs in the manufacturing industry describe the problems associated with their supply chain as getting worse.

Inflation is another crucial factor that will continue to cause disruption in 2022. 87% of CEOs in manufacturing expect prices for their products and services will increase, according to Vistage. A major priority must be to look at both short- and long-term options for a supply chain solution and for all the players to work together from sourcing through manufacturing and delivery.