HAMR3: Personnel turnover in the advanced machinery world (and beyond)

On December 10, 2014, NTS Mechatronics Shanghai organized the 3rd Holland Advanced Machinery Rotation platform meeting. At NTS in the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, industry leaders from 5 Advanced Machinery builders, as well as representatives from Schouten China and the Netherlands Office for Science and Technology, came together to discuss employee turnover rates.

Employee turnover is generally seen as a management challenge, and a strong indicator of competitiveness on the job market. The attending advanced machinery firms are facing ca. 20 to 40% turnover of workshop floor employees, with one outlier having a turnover rate of only 6%.

During two rounds of presentations (from NTS and Schouten), attendees discussed the benefits of using financial vs. personal development/cultural incentives as a strategy to keep employees that add value to the company. Financial incentives, such as higher salaries and systematic over-hour schemes, have generally been addressed as the first solution for high turnover rates.

Schouten recognizes a fitting company culture as an important factor for personnel retention. The lower turnover rates at NTS among personnel that has worked for more than 3 years at NTS may indeed confirm Schouten’s view. Furthermore, in other companies, a number of former employees who left because of financial motivations have already made clear their desire to return, in spite of a lower expected income.

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