The Challenge of Filling PCB Assembly Positions

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Also, you will undoubtedly consider the ramifications of a training program. How many of these people will take advantage of our generosity and then leave our company for a higher wage? How many will appreciate the amount of time and effort we’ve invested and stay long term? What will the return of investment be to the company? These are all valid questions and unfortunately cannot be answered accurately until time has passed. Some company-trained employees will leave—count on it! Some will also stay and become valuable and trusted employees that you can depend on for a long time.

The Nurturing Process: Gen X, Gen Y and Millennials

Every company has a diverse group of employees. A common topic discussed these days is how to cater to your Gen X, Y and millennial employees. Their motivations for work are not the same. The Gen X employees learned early in their careers that work is necessary to live. Gen Y employees feel that there must be a work/life balance and millennials feel that work should enhance their life.

I won’t get into a discussion of management techniques for success; that is for another article. However, it’s easy to see that all employees cannot be managed the same way. In general, it may be easiest to recognize the different style of employees that exist during lunch or break times. Some will eat lunch with others and spend time talking about the day’s happenings. Others will eat alone and maybe read the news or catch up on the local sports teams. And others still will be alone, but look as comfortable as if they are at home. They may have their feet up on a desk, checking their Facebook page or playing online games. The point is that they are all different and require different things to feel comfortable at work.

Retaining Your Team

That brings us to the topic of how to retain our team of employees. With a diverse group of employees, presumably all on the same page while working, all require different things to feel satisfied in their work. Some will need higher wages—increases that prove to them that they are valued. Others will require positive feedback to feel their value. And others will want some freedom in the form of time off, whether paid or not, without negative consequences. These are issues that we all face once they are recognized. In our current environment, it doesn’t make it easy for the employer to retain good employees.

Time honored tactics of a budget for each department to dole out as they see fit or a standard percentage raise for everyone will not work the way it used to. Our methods of acknowledgment must be adjusted for the current times. Companies invest a lot of time and effort putting together a good team. We must invest the same time and effort to retain them. It’s easy to be complacent once you have the team assembled and working smoothly. However, if we cannot retain them, the effort has been wasted.


With the many complications our country is going through currently, the task of filling manufacturing positions seems inconsequential. As a company owner or manager though, it is a daunting task. As with running a business, finding, training and retaining good employees is a constant effort. We cannot simply sit back and wait for the perfect employee to show up at our door, no matter how many ads we’ve placed. Also, we cannot expect good employees to simply stay loyal to our company forever unless they’ve got a good reason to. In good hiring times or bad, finding, training and retaining good or better yet, great employees requires a constant effort. One that will prove worthwhile in the long run.

This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of SMT Magazine.



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