Upskilling is a great idea for any business, but for those in the manufacturing sector, it can be vital to ensuring your ongoing organizational success. The reason for this is twofold: As a leader, you need to make sure your company is always well-positioned for what's next in the industry, and it helps you avoid significant employee turnover amid the ever-growing skills gap.
So how can you master the upskilling process on an ongoing basis? We have some suggestions:
1) Try to inspire them
First and foremost, your training efforts should be about helping workers feel like they can better tackle the challenges of both today and tomorrow, according to Redshift by Autodesk. This training should be more focused on things like improving creative thinking and soft skills, rather than the more manual tasks that may be directly associated with their jobs.
2) Highlight the benefits
It should certainly go without saying that you're not going to get the desired engagement with your training efforts you if you make it compulsory, Redshift said. When introducing these concepts, focus your workers on what positives they will derive from their efforts.
3) Ask for feedback
Along similar lines, you should strive to make these efforts a two-way street, and solicit feedback after each round of training, Redshift added. This can help you identify what connected with your employees, and what might have missed the mark, so you can easily pivot to improve future trainings.
4) Personalize your efforts
Everyone learns in their own way, and sometimes, your method of training may not be enough to reach every employee to the same extent, according to 5/3. If you note that some seem to be struggling on this front, you might want to figure out a new way to approach it, rather than writing that employee off.
5) Keep it brief
Your facility can only churn out so many products in a given shift, so when you're setting aside time for training, you shouldn't keep workers at it all day, 5/3 recommended. Instead, keep the sessions short, and they'll be more likely to feel like a brief reprieve than a hassle.
6) Clearly communicate throughout the process
You can't get the ball rolling with a bunch of short training sessions initially and then just expect employees to remain engaged throughout that process, 5/3 further advised. Instead, reinforce the lessons imparted with the previous session and prepare them for what's coming up next.
7) Peer mentoring helps
Another great training method is to have long-standing employees act as trainers or mentors for relatively newer ones, according to AIHR Digital. That way, you are connecting more effectively on a personal level and also giving people some active training on the production line.
8) Always build on current efforts
Upskilling efforts should be like a snowball rolling down a hill, AIHR Digital noted. Start small, but build in scope over time and always make sure the new thing you're teaching reinforces the last thing.
9) Give people a better idea of their peers' roles
A great approach when you feel you've wrung a lot out of current efforts is to train people for their coworkers' roles, AIHR Digital stated. That way, there's more understanding and flexibility built into your entire organization.