Beyond the Resume: Grit Is the Secret Weapon Manufacturing Needs

The manufacturing industry faces a well-documented challenge: a shortage of skilled workers. With an aging workforce and competition from other sectors, attracting and retaining top talent is proving more and more difficult. With the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees high, more focus is warranted in boosting employee retention. The secret? It’s grit.

Grit, as defined by psychologist Angela Duckworth, is the combination of passion and perseverance. It’s the drive that keeps someone pushing forward even when faced with setbacks. In the dynamic world of manufacturing, this quality is invaluable.

Why grit matters in manufacturing

Manufacturing isn’t always glamorous. Repetitive tasks abound. Problem-solving on the fly is essential. And adapting to ever-changing technologies is a must. High-grit individuals thrive in this environment:

  • They embrace challenges. They see roadblocks as opportunities to learn and improve, not as reasons to give up.
  • They’re solution-oriented. They don’t shy away from complex problems. Instead, they approach them with a “can do” attitude and a willingness to experiment.
  • They learn from mistakes. They understand mistakes are inevitable, and they use them to achieve mastery.
  • They’re dependable. They show up on time, put in the effort, and consistently deliver quality work.

Building a grittier manufacturing workforce

Grit lays the foundation for success in the face of adversity — something the manufacturing sector sees often. Passion, perseverance, and resilience are essential for building a strong, reliable workforce. A team filled with high-grit individuals is more likely to:

  • Improve efficiency: They’re constantly seeking ways to optimize processes and overcome production hurdles.
  • Maintain high quality standards: Their commitment to excellence ensures consistent output that meets (and often exceeds) customer expectations.
  • Foster a positive work environment: Their perseverance inspires others and creates a team spirit to tackle challenges head-on.

So how do you find high-grit workers when it’s already difficult enough to fill positions? The secret is looking beyond the skills assessment. Ask about past experiences that demonstrate a candidate’s ability to overcome challenges and maintain focus on long-term goals. You can also consider aptitude tests, which can reveal a candidate’s work ethic, resilience, and problem-solving skills.

Above all, look for a growth mindset. High-grit individuals believe their abilities can be developed through effort. During interviews, see if candidates emphasize learning and improvement over innate talent, and determine if they’re willing to try new things, learn new skills, and invest in their own development.

Grit is what manufacturing needs to thrive

Building a successful manufacturing team isn’t just about finding the most experienced workers. By prioritizing grit, you’ll discover individuals with the passion and perseverance to become invaluable assets in your factory. They’re the ones who will help you not only weather challenges but also drive continuous improvement.

The next time you review resumes, look beyond the technical ability and seek out the hidden fire — the grit — that will propel manufacturing success.

Struggling to balance staffing and maintenance challenges? You can always count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!
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