Blue-collar employees are the workers who engage in labour-intensive jobs and typically work using their hands. They are commonly employed as mechanics, plumbers, structure workers, and electricians in companies pertaining to manufacturing, telecom, automobile, etc.
Workforce Management in Blue-Collar Dominant Workforce
Taking the example of factories, which employ a large number of manual labors-for them, workforce management is usually tough for obvious reasons. For starters, most of these factories are operational for the most part of a day, if not the entire 24 hours. Since a typical factory as a modest upper-level management but a sizeable factory floor staff, the supervisors and managers are under a tremendous pressure.
Not only the supervisors have to ensure that the factory workers don’t underperform and meet the production requirements, they also have to handle shift scheduling, leave management, overtime management, etc.
Challenges in Blue-Collar Employees Management
The main challenge in the management of blue-collar employees is the use of archaic methods which haven’t been replaced yet. The workers in manual labor segment are not familiar with modern attendance management systems that are typically found in white-collar working environments such as IT and consultancy companies.They still rely on paper-based records, which can be easily tinkered with or exploited.
Most non-labour-dependant companies have their own Internet-based attendance and HR management systems which can be accessed by the employees. However, the majority of blue-collar workers are incapable of operating laptops or computers. Plus, language can always be a problem as the standard employee management software don’t have multilingual support even though many manual labors can only speak and understand their native language.
Some of the other challenges that are holding back the supervisors and managers of blue-collar employees are:
- Scale of Operation: Since a supervisor has to handle dozens, if not hundreds of manual workers, the scale of operation alone can be a big challenge. Then the number of records so high and multiple entries to fill on a daily basis, then the margin of error can also increase.
- Wastage of Time: Creating and maintaining records of all the workers in paper format can be tedious can counter-productive.While the system is convenient for the workers, they can also exploit it easily through attendance by proxy, forging entries, etc.
- Inefficient Monitoring: It is easy to steal work-time and manipulate sanctioned leaves when the work environment is crowded. It’s no surprise that loitering and absence from work is a big problem that factory supervisors have to deal with even today.
An Ideal Solution
There are no two ways to the fact that paper-based management systems are inefficient in today’s era. Even though the labor class may find it difficult to adapt to new-age electronic attendance and employee management systems, the change must be brought at any cost. Not only it can boost the management efficiency, it can also maximize profits by saving time and minimizing errors.
A company willing to embrace a better management infrastructure must seek an electronic and robust system that’s not too complicated but gets the job done still. An intuitive and simple kiosk that can track the working hours, attendance, wages, etc. can be a good option. An important feature that can be of great help is support for multiple languages, especially the regional languages that can be understood by the workers. Lastly, it must absolutely comply with the standards and regulations maintained by the government.
The blue-collar workforce is often overlooked in the business industry. These workers are not given the due attention they deserve, which results in the lack of productivity and frequent disputes between them and the management.
With a modern but tailored employee management system, not only the supervisors can identify the best performing workers but also weed out those who are bringing the productivity down. However, more than anything, the streamlined and transparent management processes are likely to be welcomed by the managers and the workers equally.