In the manufacturing industry, you should always strive to ensure your workforce operates at its utmost capacity. A great way to do that on an ongoing basis is by committing to making routine training sessions a critical part of your overall efforts, so that your workers are always developing new skills or having the ones they've long relied on reinforced in a positive way.
Many companies already do this, but they may not get as much benefit from the efforts as they might want, for any number of reasons. The following should help your entire organization get a better handle on employee training and needs:
1) Make a master plan
First and foremost, just like anything else you do as a company, it's vital to make sure you sit down and carefully construct a plan for how you will handle training overall, according to Convergence Training. That way, you can make sure every aspect of your training efforts is charted out months in advance and there are always plans for when and how the next courses will progress.
2) Utilize visuals whenever possible
Even with a highly experienced workforce — which your company may or may not have — it's not always a good idea to sit down and explain new processes or skills to manufacturing employees, Convergence Training noted. Instead, you should "show" at least as much as you "tell," just to reinforce how effectively the information sinks in overall. Visual training materials are a must for that reason.
3) Make it tactile
Along similar lines to going visual whenever possible, it's also absolutely critical to make sure your training sessions have a hands-on component so workers can try and retry the techniques you want to impart, according to IndustryWeek. That way, you're not just showing and telling them how to do things, you're also giving them the chance to learn by doing, which is perhaps the best way to tackle these issues in a manufacturing setting.
4) Switch to small focuses
You may want to have an overarching goal for your training, but it's important not to overload workers with new information all in one or two sessions, IndustryWeek added. Instead, it's critical to make sure your training efforts are focused on small ideas, and that each subsequent session builds on the one previous.
5) Leverage technology
Whenever possible, it's a good idea to make sure exercises incorporate the latest and greatest tech whenever possible, according to Manufacturing Tomorrow. That is, obviously, true especially when you are teaching techniques or ideas that incorporate new machines you've invested in. This adds a "cool factor" to any training effort and may be more engaging for workers.
6) Train for safety as well as process
Finally, it's important to make sure you're not just training for production processes and the like, Manufacturing Tomorrow said. It's also important to highlight and reinforce proper safe behaviors under your roof, and continually center safety as a critical part of overall manufacturing success.