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The secret HR recipe for boosting productivity in food manufacturing

food manufacturing hr

Regardless of the time of year, productivity remains the heartbeat of any manufacturing site. It’s the driving force that ensures deadlines are met, product lines are adequately staffed, and production runs smoothly. 

But as any HR professional in the food manufacturing industry knows, achieving high levels of workforce productivity is no stroll in the park. It requires striking a delicate balance between having the right people in place with the necessary skills, while also ensuring compliance with regulations and prioritising employee well-being. 

Of course, you can throw in various strategies, like setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), adopting lean manufacturing practices, and embracing Six Sigma techniques to make your employees work faster and smarter. You can also design tailored employee engagement and well-being strategies to motivate and satisfy your workforce.  

However, achieving sustainable manufacturing productivity and maintaining a well-balanced workforce is more than just a collection of strategies. It requires a robust workforce management system that ensures you have the right people with the right skills at the right time and place – while, of course, navigating the intricate web of regulations and employee well-being.

Staying compliant

In essence, it’s enhancing employee productivity in food manufacturing is all about finding harmony between efficiency, compliance, and the welfare of your employees. 

And by this, we don’t mean ensuring the production lines are constantly manned. Of course, while this is important for maintaining the flow of production and meeting deadlines, it’s equally crucial to have a system in place that takes into account it’s about adhering to The Working Time Regulations 1998.  

Yes, the eye-rolls and sighs you’re probably making right now are entirely justified. Factoring this in to ensure compliance can be an arduous and time-consuming task. And with unplanned absences, shift swaps, and holiday requests constantly coming in, it can feel like you’re navigating a maze without a map.  

But what if we told you that there is a solution that can help ease this burden and ensure you have the right people in place at the right time? This is where elementsuite comes into play.  

elementsuite has been designed with compliance in mind, ensuring that your workforce always meets regulations while optimising productivity.  

With a few set rules, clicks, and drags, elementsuite’s workforce management tool can help you create compliant schedules that take into account The Working Time Regulations 1998.  

It also has a real-time absence reporting feature, allowing you to track unplanned absences and make the necessary adjustments to maintain production flow without compromising compliance.  

The right people at the right time and place

But workforce management is more than adhering to regulations. It’s about having the right people with the right skills at the right time and place. In manufacturing, this complexity is amplified. 

Technicians, engineers, and employees with specific skills and certifications can’t be placed haphazardly on production lines. Instead, they must be allocated strategically, ensuring that production runs smoothly while meeting compliance requirements. 

Then you have staff with working visas – and manually keeping track of certification expiration dates, sending out renewal notifications, and factoring in the time it takes for renewals can be a logistical nightmare.  

However, neglecting this vital aspect can severely affect manufacturing productivity – let alone your organisation’s reputation. The last thing you want is for weeks before the busiest season and you have uncompliant employees, a shortage of staff, and KPIs going down the drain. 

You need to be proactive and keep on top of every aspect that can impact your business’s productivity.  

And this is where the power of HR and Workforce Management technology comes into play to save the day (or, shall I say, the future of tomorrow’s labour productivity). 

With elementsuite’s alert builder, you can set up alerts to receive timely notifications when certifications are about to expire and work visas are to be renewed. And when creating work schedule rosters, only employees with the requisite skills and certifications can be assigned to specific lines and shifts. Even if employees want to swap shifts using the mobile app, elementsuite only permits swaps with colleagues possessing the same skills and certifications.  

This feature has received immense praise from existing clients for its cost-saving benefits and administrative efficiency. It’s like having an extra pair of eyes and hands on the ground – minus the cost and risk of human error. 

Anticipating future demand

But a robust workforce management system isn’t solely about the present, it’s about preparing for the future. Seasonal fluctuations, market trends, and shifts in demand are all part and parcel of the industry. And predicting the future is key to staying ahead, and that’s where elementsuite’s advanced analytics and reporting tool becomes your crystal ball.  

With elementsuite’s seamless software integration builder and advanced analytics capabilities, you can transform your workforce management from reactive to proactive. Collecting data from various sources allows you to accurately calculate and recommend labour models tailored to your company’s specific requirements. This data isn’t just collected and stored, it’s continually assessed to provide insights into ‘what happened’ versus ‘what was planned.’ 

Now, with ELLA – elementsuite’s very own large language model, you can gain predictive insights into future production levels, potential skills shortages, and workforce trends that could impact your productivity, and can simply ask the question, “What will my workforce look like next quarter?“. 

So whether you need to recruit new talents with specific skills or upskill your current employees to meet emerging industry trends, elementsuite provides the insights you need to make these crucial decisions.  

Remember the fundamentals

However, even the most robust workforce management strategy can unravel if employees aren’t paid correctly or on time. For your employees, the paycheck isn’t just a number displayed on their bank account – it’s a lifeline. Ensuring they are paid accurately and on time isn’t just a matter of financial security – it’s a critical factor in their overall job satisfaction. 

Payroll discrepancies can quickly lead to dissatisfaction and disengagement among your workforce. An employees who feel they’re not being paid fairly and consistently are unlikely to be motivated or engaged in their work.  

The consequence? Decreased productivity levels, increased employee turnover, and negative reviews that can impact your ability to attract top talent. 

FMCG organisations often rely on a diverse workforce, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. And let’s be honest, managing payroll for such a diverse group can be complex and challenging. However, with elementsuite’s cutting-edge geo-tagging and geo-fencing technology, this process can be made both simpler and more accurate.  

By accurately tracking when and where your employees are working, it ensures that you’re not just paying employees for their time, but you’re doing so with pinpoint accuracy. This not only fosters trust among your employees but also minimises compensation errors.  

Every minute counts, which can significantly impact manufacturing productivity and employee satisfaction. So, ensure you have the right tools to manage your diverse workforce effectively.  

Seizing the productive advantage

All in all, it’s not just about managing the now but planning for the future. From compliance and skills management to predictive insights and payroll accuracy, elementsuite weaves a narrative of efficiency and control, providing you with the tools necessary to optimise workforce productivity. 

Having a robust workforce management system is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. So why not let elementsuite’s innovative technology do the heavy lifting for you so that your HR team can focus on what matters most – managing and developing your most valuable asset – your people.  

Say goodbye to manual processes, data inaccuracies, and administrative inefficiencies. With elementsuite, you can streamline your workforce management operations and transform them into a strategic advantage that sets your organisation apart in the food manufacturing industry.  

Don’t just keep up with the industry – lead it with elementsuite. Book a demo today and see the difference it can make for your food manufacturing business.  

Useful resources

HRDs’ guide to successful software implementation – Part 1: Identifying Your Requirements

The role of HR metrics in building a strong retention culture

The power of workforce planning

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