Spotlight on Mexico Manufacturing:
Tips for Reducing Turnover
When starting up operations in Mexico a key factor in ensuring optimal profitability and long-term success is in hiring—and retaining—the proper human talent. Regardless of the type of position, you must have a system in place that allows for the continual improvement of hiring processes that reflect the company’s culture and promote a positive work environment. Although setting a competitive salary is of course important, there are many additional factors that contribute to improving employee satisfaction and reducing turnover.

Starting up operations in Mexico

This process starts with a factor that is many times overlooked: having an updated job description that reflects the reality of the soft and hard skills required for the job. By clearly outlining the tasks to be performed, tools required, skills necessary, as well as deliverables and expectations, a recruiter will be able more easily identify the individuals who are right for the job. For this, a recruiter must physically visit the place where the work will be performed to talk to supervisors and identify the context of the work and attitude needed to be successful in the position.

Once a proper job description has been developed, the next step is to ensure you make a good first impression on candidates during their first contact with the company and the interview process. Everything from how the guard treats them at the entrance, to providing a comfortable waiting room, with water and coffee or light snacks when possible (especially if they will be waiting a few hours), conveys a message to possible employees about how they will be treated if hired and the company’s overall culture.

The next step after identifying and hiring individuals through a properly-structured interview is to have an onboarding process that accurately transmits the company’s culture, motivates employees by showing them opportunities for growth the company offers, and provides clear and valuable information for them to be successful. It is even recommended that plant managers make a visit to personally welcome new employees. This gives them a good impression, inspires confidence, and motivates them.

After the initial onboarding process, which should last no more than three to five days, comes the training process. This can last from one week to a month and should be documented to not only allow supervisors to track their progress, but so that employees can see their progress as they learn and develop new skills, giving them a sense that they belong in the company. Another important aspect of feeling they belong in the company is in making sure they understand how they contribute to the final product produced by the company and the importance of their role.

Setting up manufacturing operations in Mexico

During the first few weeks on the job, there must be close follow-up with them on how things are going. By asking them about internal issues that may affect their permanence on the job, such as problems with transportation, meals, with the work or colleagues, as well as external ones, like family changes, or childcare conflicts, you can not only show them you care, but also try to help them resolve problems before they decide to leave the company.

Once all these factors are in place and impeccably executed, a company must focus on creating a positive workplace environment, free of psychological abuse, that promotes happiness and the overall wellbeing of employees and their families. Small actions, such as taking five minutes a day for guided meditations or stretching, allowing music when possible, and giving people time to relax a little and lighten the overall mood help people to develop positive relationships with their bosses and coworkers.

Other important benefits and events that involve employees’ families are also key. It is important not to underestimate the importance of family in Mexican culture, which is something international companies that are new to operating here will need to adapt to. Some examples of events to include families are field days, open house events where families are invited to the plant, the all-important Christmas party, and other events that can be scheduled annually.

By offering competitive wages, a heathy, safe, and ergonomic work environment, implementing steps to promote a positive work environment, and offering continuing education, you can help to reduce turnover and take advantages of the cost savings of having a happy, stable, and constantly improving workforce. If you have any questions about HR processes or need help setting up manufacturing operations in Mexico, don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule your free business case analysis.

By José Núñez | Chihuahua and Cd. Juárez Human Resources Manager | American Industries Group®
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