Blue-Collar Retention: How to Reduce Employee Turnover In Labor-Based Industries

Labor-based or “blue-collar” industries such as construction, agriculture, and manufacturing are notorious with regards to employee turnover and issues with employee retention. Today, it’s come to a point that the US already has a blue-collar labor shortage which is making it hard for these labor-based industries to find blue-collar workers. That said, you’d want to take the necessary steps in order to minimize worker turnover in your company in order to function optimally and meet the demands of your operations. So, we’ll be taking a look at tips to help you retain your blue-collar workers:

Better Pay and Benefits

One of the main reasons why blue-collar workers quit their jobs is due to finding higher-paying jobs with more benefits. In fact, many employees (including office workers and professionals) quit due to finding better opportunities. So, if you’re not willing to pay your employees a competitive salary, they’re more likely to find another business or company that will. That said, try to do your research and see how much other similar industries pay their employees and try to match their salary or provide benefits such as better health care compensation, allowances, and so on.

Hire the Right Workers

Sometimes, the pay isn’t the issue, but the workers themselves. It’s best for you to improve your recruitment system or hire through a manpower agency for your construction, manufacturing, or recycling industry staffing needs. There are workers who would jump on any job posting they can find, even though they may be unfit in terms of schedule or physical limitations. So be more stringent in your hiring process and find qualified workers for the job, they’re less likely to quit if they’re capable of doing what’s asked of them.

Improve Working Conditions

Workers are bound to quit if they feel unsafe and uncared-for in their job. Just because blue-collar industries are used to high turnover doesn’t mean that they should treat their employees as easily replaceable by having them work in poor conditions. Invest in better personal protective equipment, provide easy access to drinking water, allow your workers to take breaks. If you can, put break rooms or lounging areas for them to cool-down after working under the sun or near hot and loud machinery.

Advancement and Promotion Opportunities

Many workers who’ve worked for so long in the same position and job would start to think that they’re going to be stuck there forever and would begin searching for other jobs that can provide career advancement. That said, your company or business should show a career path to your blue-collar employees to let them know that they can work their way up the ranks and have higher responsibilities and pay. Whenever possible, promote from within the current staffing pool first before hiring externally, you may find that there are very capable workers among your staff roster.

Partner With A Specialized or Reliable Staffing Agency

You have to accept the fact that, despite all your efforts and strategies, turnovers are bound to happen in blue-collar or labor-based jobs such as those in the waste and recycling industries, construction, and manufacturing. Which is why it’s best to partner with a staffing agency that can constantly and quickly answer your manpower requirements by providing qualified and trained staff. For example, if you’re in waste management, find a staffing agency that specializes in recycling industry staffing to ensure that your operations keep going despite turnover.


Two workers in oil refinery

It may be difficult to retain workers in blue-collar industries, but with these simple tips, it can be possible. However, it’s still best to always plan ahead and be prepared for turnovers by improving your recruitment process or partnering with a manpower agency.

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