NWF recognised for HR efforts with smart partnership

Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) are a South Wales based company that have vast experience  with advanced power  and compound semiconductor technologies, the company noticed inconsistencies in their workforce and approached Smart Solutions to help. After an in-depth analysis, NWF have seen an increase in job retention and was recognised for a National award, thanks to their ‘Smart’ partnership.

What was the brief?
NWF are a leading semi-conductor processing facility operating in South Wales with a vast workforce, however despite their strong workforce, they noticed the retention of their new starters was low. Smart Solutions conducted an in-depth analysis that demonstrated how the low retention rates of their new starters was a consequence of low skill sets of staff. There had also previously been a lack of training programmes, which meant the new starters felt the roles were not permanent and this led to further issues with retention as they lacked a sense of belonging.

The ‘Smart’ Solution
Working in partnership with NWF, we were able to get to the root of the problem of why employees were not staying on after the initial 6-month probation period. After analysis of the management of new starters, we were able to change NWF’s onboarding process, including interview and selection process to align it with client expectations.

In addition to this, we worked with NWF and created a 6-month development and training programme for all NWF’s new starters. We worked with NWF on their recruitment selection process and made sure the programme suited all the new recruits to ensure candidate retention, work development and job satisfaction. Further to the training, we put a structure in place so that line managers held regular review meetings to keep track of training and KPI reports, to ensure records were available for future reference.

By changing and aligning the selection and on-boarding process it, in effect, changed the retention, as the changes made meant that the workforce was more engaged and it became more of a role that people saw as eventually permanent rather than a temporary role that people would leave due to a lack of progression.

Where are they now?
Our partnership with NWF has proven to be a success and NWF has seen a higher retention rate in comparison to before the partnership.

In addition to the improved numbers, the work between NWF and ourselves was recognised by the SEMTA Group – an employer-led engineering skills organisation supporting the engineering & manufacturing sectors – at their annual Skills Awards and nominated as Finalists for the Skills Collaboration of the Year Award, supported by NPTC.

The Stats

Percentage change in workforce retention in August 2019

      • 57% of new starters have stayed with NWF for more than a year
      • 22% have worked between 45-52 weeks