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Workforce Issues - Survey Says!

Last month, SEWN ran a brief four question survey to gauge the impact workforce issues were having on manufacturing businesses in PA. The responses are summarized as follows:

  • The lack of skilled workers is a serious problem

  • Existing workers are extremely stressed by having to do more with less

  • Organizations feel they have limited options to address these issues

  • The two highest ranked company responses to address these issues were:

  • Process improvements

  • Extended lead times

In follow-up conversations with business leaders, the key component in the current workforce crisis is employee retention. While many accommodations have been made to satisfy immediate worker demands, long-term culture changing strategies have yet to be universally adapted. Organizations have chosen to hope “things” will get better and time will heal the wounds. However, to quote many successful business leaders, “Hope is not a strategy”.


SEWN’s job saving mission has led us to champion an employee-based job retention strategy in response to the worker turnover crisis. The use of employee teams has proven to be a time-tested formula for smoothly implementing organizational change and enhancing a culture of success. Traditionally, small companies have not used team building as a strategy. However, they have an advantage in that employees are already familiar with each other and inter- team communications are logistically easier.


A team approach collates very well with a job retention strategy when focused on customer relationships and implementation of employee friendly advanced technology. As an example, SEWN has worked with experts in digital technology and client organizations who have used digital marketing strategies to reach a rapidly expanding e-commerce driven marketplace.


SEWN’s recommendations are based on the creation of customer and/or technology teams as the foundation for positive change and employee involvement in the business. SEWN functions as an outsider intervention helping to evaluate what you have and how to leverage your existing organizational resources. Often, what you already have is all you need to get started. What we have found is that the path forward is best transitioned with the help of those employees who will be using the tools integral for your future success.


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