Benefits Provide a Competitive Edge for Manufacturing Talent, New Study Finds

Manufacturing leaders show that optimizing benefit options and literacy can help attract and retain talent.

Talent remains one of the top concerns for manufacturing leadership. The lack of skilled prospects and multi-industry competition leaves the sector grinding its gears as it seeks to attract and retain employees. Employees' workforce expectations are evolving. Across manufacturers, 83% say that benefits have risen in importance over the last three years. For a talent pool with often inordinate choice, healthcare and flexibility matter. 

Urgency to meet the changing workforce needs has resulted in new HR actions, according to a new report released today, "Closing the Benefits Literacy Gap," by Manufacturers Alliance, in collaboration with American Fidelity, a leading benefits administration and enrollment provider. The report highlights that companies must keep up with the changing benefits landscape. Even if your company's compensation is ahead of the pack, you can still lose talent to a trailblazing competitor who's exploring, innovating, and creating new benefits initiatives. 

Manufacturing HR and benefits leaders offered some key takeaways and best practices including:

  • Re-evaluate your benefits package
  • Make open enrollment active
  • Leverage multi-channel communication
  • Communicate year-round
  • Create space for employee questions
  • Consider a professional enrollment services partner

"It's not new news. Manufacturing CEO members of the Alliance have ranked concerns around attracting and retaining talent in the top two concerns for years. Companies that pivot more quickly to align with the values of prospective employees and identify benefit options beyond the standard are more attractive to the competitive talent pool for the sector," notes Manufacturers Alliance Foundation CEO and President Stephen Gold.

A common thread from the report is that education and communication are key to benefits awareness and utilization, driving satisfaction and loyalty. 

  • 37% of employees don't understand how to utilize their plan
  • 34% lack option and plan design knowledge 
  • 29% aren't aware how to select proper coverage during enrollment

Open enrollment assistance and multi-channel communication with both high-tech and low-tech tools increase benefits knowledge. 

Forty percent of best-in-class companies believe that "employees' engagement with their benefits is extremely influential." Benefits literacy is key to a thriving, engaged, and loyal workforce: the competitive edge in a talent-constrained marketplace.

About Manufacturers Alliance Foundation 

Manufacturers Alliance Foundation is the 501(c)(3) partner of Manufacturers Alliance. The Alliance Foundation provides educational opportunities for the manufacturing community and its stakeholders through insights, events, and tools for today's most critical business decisions. The Alliance Foundation focuses on talent, technology, digital transformation, and competitiveness. Learn more about the Alliance Foundation:

About American Fidelity

American Fidelity Assurance Company is a leading benefits administration and enrollment provider with more than 60 years of experience helping employers and their brokers solve key benefits challenges. We aim to act as an extension of your human resources department to support the development of a sustainable benefits culture through proven employee engagement, education, and enrollment strategies. 

Source: Manufacturers Alliance Foundation