Training the worker of the future

With the increase in productivity and automation of routine procedures, there is about to be a significant shift in labour needs. This does not mean that there will be fewer jobs due to technology – quite on the contrary. It is expected that the US manufacturing industry will lack two million workers in the next few years.

However, nearly every position’s requirements are likely to change. Employees will need different skill profiles in the near future, including knowledge in engineering, technology, and data. And while many organizations are not ready to address the change just yet, it is inevitable in order to stay competitive. With all this in mind, two critical questions arise — how to attract new blood, and how to keep and upskill current staff?

Match skills to positions

A wide mismatch is developing between the skills necessary for open job positions and available workers, resulting in lack of skilled workforce. The problem is partially caused by a phenomenon called the “silver tsunami”. The more experienced, older workers are retiring, and there is no one to replace them. Without good knowledge management system that results in loss of undocumented know-how.

Another problem organizations face is how job positions and required skills evolve and transform into new ones that can co-exist with advanced technology. For example, using new technology such as AI and data collected by sensors would definitely boost a process like production planning. However, this means that data analysts also must be skilled in handling and setting up such systems.

The future of your workforce will be defined by how you handle three crucial procedures: training, upskilling, and reskilling. Proper training makes sure team members grasp new information efficiently. Upskilling and reskilling help your staff evolve in their current roles or take on different responsibilities. When it comes to the technological revolution in manufacturing and maintenance, reskilling is especially important, as employees in those sectors are most likely to be affected. After automation, the predictable and repetitive nature of their tasks gravitates more towards creative soft skills and technological literacy.

Encourage collaboration

As the job nature and required skills are bound to change, workers are expected to become more versatile, autonomous problem solvers. Leveraging digital assistance tools can help to ease the transition. For example, AR video calls allow field technicians to reach out to an expert and receive step-by-step instructions drawn right into their view in real-time. It leads to a more engaged workforce that carries out tasks autonomously and learns from each other when running into a problem.

A collaborative platform where workers interact with their peers, experts, and management can also enhance their sense of community. Such culture makes employees feel more connected to their role and place of work and can help attract new candidates.

Find new approaches to learning

Everyone knows learning is more fun when done on your own terms outside of the formal atmosphere of classrooms. On-the-job learning is the answer. Be it through standardized step-by-step instructions, animations, or videos, your workers won’t get overwhelmed by years of knowledge packed just into a few short hours of training.

Workers can go through the whole process independently, and at their own pace, anywhere they go. And besides setting up a culture of continuous upskilling, non-traditional learning is also proven to encourage knowledge retention.

Prioritize employee satisfaction

Industry 4.0 is about eliminating unnecessary costs and repetitive tasks. However, it is just as crucial in creating an environment that can bring value to the new generation of employees seeking purpose in their work. Autonomous workers with a certain level of responsibility can take pride in their skills and feel empowered to solve any issue that comes their way. With continuous learning, there is always an opportunity to grow and expand their knowledge.

Furthermore, the younger generations’ lives are defined by technology – it is not surprising they expect their work environment to reflect the current standards of technological development. If organizations stick with outdated processes that don’t support mobility or ease of use, it is more likely that the best candidates and employees will try their luck elsewhere.

Interested in boosting your training and reskilling processes? Try Resco Houston!

Resco Houston is a knowledge management application that will help you keep up with the competition. All your tribal knowledge, guides, manuals, and AR video calls are available in a single package. Empower workers to share expertise in real time and improve operations efficiency with the necessary knowledge at your workers’ fingertips.

Find out more & book a 30-minute demo here.

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