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Updating the Production Worker Wage Scale After the Pandemic

A company deemed an essential manufacturer had dealt successfully with the challenges of keeping its workforce safe under a variety of evolving COVID-related programs and policies. Coming out of the pandemic, they found they were relatively well-positioned operationally and financially. To maintain their forward momentum, however, they had to hire more hourly workers.

“It’s different world now when it comes to hiring and retaining hourly production employees. We needed to reexamine our hourly wage scale to ensure we can attract and retain the talent we need, especially for jobs that are increasingly difficult to hire for,” says the company’s Director of Human Resources. In addition, they needed to be compliant with any new minimum wage laws.

The company had different job groups, some requiring more skills than others. For example, maintenance mechanic and electrician positions were more skilled jobs compared to the machine operator job. The wage structure for each job group needed to be evaluated and benchmarked.

According to the HR director, “Don has a lot of resources he can tap to benchmark positions that are similar to ours in similar industries. He’s got years of experience in developing hourly compensation programs and wage structures. Plus, he’s able to create detailed job descriptions that accurately differentiate between basic job requirements and what is needed for an individual to progress to the next level. This helps us create career paths.”

Based on Don’s input and analysis, “I think it’s going to lead to some changes in our hourly structure and the elevation of some of our job categories. Don brings his breadth and depth of knowledge in general business and manufacturing. He keeps current, keeps up to date with what’s happening and any nuances that are happening in the job market, in the industries and in particular positions,” the director notes.

She adds, “Don becomes a very collaborative partner and brings a lot of value with his expertise and resources. He can find solutions with you tailored to your organization. It’s not just a one size fits all kind of thing.”