When considering solutions to maximize operational efficiency, it's important for manufacturing leaders to not focus on any solution's quantitative benefits alone.
Labor forecasting is one solution often chosen for its ability to optimize workforce volume to production demand, but it also helps manufacturers build stronger relationships with their employee base.
Where manufacturers often struggle is letting process dominate the conversation and overlooking the people at the heart of the work. The qualitative benefits of labor forecasting solutions offer manufacturers a way to demonstrate a continued commitment to their people just as much as their processes — the key to greater employee engagement and greater productivity as a result. Here are three incredible intrinsic benefits of modern labor forecasting on the people that matter most to meeting customer demand — our employees.
1. Protects Work-Life Balance
"Mandatory overtime" are two words not to take lightly. Sure, some employees might gladly step up for that time-and-a-half boost on occasion, but everyone has a threshold for when that demand takes away too much from their personal lives.
Frequent overtime due to under staffing reflects poorly on any employer's respect for their employees' lives outside of work — and it certainly doesn't help with conserving labor costs. Proactive labor forecasting helps loosen the strain on dependable employee bases and will continue the transformation of manufacturing's image as a fulfilling career for the future.
2. Empowers Managers to Stay Connected
Engagement soars when employees feel like they have someone in their corner, looking out for their best interest. Bosses and managers play a crucial role in both motivating and vouching for their employees on the floor. When those who are charged with supervising a department or team have the tools to properly align labor to demand, they're also afforded the ability to maintain other important responsibilities, like developing their individual employees. Managers are spared the stress of meeting labor shortfalls, and employees experience a continued commitment to their growth within their organization.
3. Supports Great Customer Service
Speed to market and product innovation are two goals manufacturers all see as important to their future success, and both are rooted squarely in delivering quality, competitive customer service. For employees, it's important to feel that their work goes beyond meeting daily quotas and maximizing output — a greater sense of purpose helps keep them engaged. When labor and demand are in perfect balance, it allows employees and managers to stay focused on the greater picture and to stay responsive to their customers' (and company's) ever evolving goals.
For many businesses, labor forecasting is about improving the bottom line — but some of the best benefits aren't always so easy to calculate. Let's not forget the many important ways workforce management can prop up internal teams and create a greater sense of belonging, engagement and shared purpose by alleviating the strains and frustrations of otherwise predictable challenges. The future of manufacturing is as bright as we make it — and it all starts within.