Work Sharing Solves Fiscal, Labor Challenges

Manufacturers around the country have found themselves struggling to find the qualified workforce needed to meet demand. This problem is compounded by the ever present threat of economic downturn, making it difficult for employers to maintain their workforce and ensure that employees remain available for work as needed, despite layoffs and other challenges.

Work sharing provides two means of addressing these challenges. The first definition of work sharing is often referred to as job sharing. In this strategy, manufacturers share employees, who work part-time for each employer. This helps employers make up for the lack of available and experienced labor, but is not without its own potential complications.

First, it remains to be seen if work sharing in this form can provide a long-term solution to the issue of manufacturers not being able to find enough qualified employees to fill available positions or if the available labor force is big enough to sustain this strategy. Manufacturers must also consider potential conflicts created by sharing skilled labor.

For this version of the work sharing strategy to be a feasible solution to a workforce shortage, manufacturing executives and human resources teams should create contracts that explicitly spell out the requirements for employees, thus allowing manufacturers to better handle any issues that may arise related to over-scheduling, workers not meeting manufacturers’ needs, or other issues.

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