While the world closes the book on 2021, many industries look ahead to what the new year has in store. Manufacturers, in particular, hope to erase their labor shortage, recoup some losses and begin 2022 on a good note.
Indeed, for an industry whose last couple of years have been characterized by one supply chain disruption after another, manufacturing needs a solid win. To mitigate their previous challenges, here are five reasons manufacturers should start reskilling their labor force in 2022.
Employees are aging into retirement
If one thing is for sure, it's that workers are getting older. As manufacturing employees age into retirement, they represent a generation of skilled labor that is exiting the workforce. Many companies are right to worry about the implications their absence will have on productivity.
Reskilling – teaching new skills to your current employees – is one way to get ahead of the retirement curve. When the time comes that your aging workers retire, you'll be much better equipped to handle the transition to a workforce that's already familiar with the skills they've left behind.
It may facilitate knowledge transfer
Likewise, when your aging workers exit the company, they carry with them their knowledge and expertise. This process – referred to as "brain drain" – is a major concern for manufacturers. In fact, according to The Manufacturing Institute, 78% of manufacturing companies are at least somewhat or very concerned about knowledge transfer.
Manufacturers can prevent brain drain in their workforce by facilitating knowledge transfer between aging and younger employees. In doing so, they'll retain vital organizational expertise.
You can keep workers engaged
One of the leading causes of burnout among workers is a lack of professional engagement. In other words, workers are losing passion for their jobs. In manufacturing especially, burnout can be exacerbated by the pressures of demand and expectations.
The best way to keep your workforce engaged is to constantly restimulate their passion. Training employees in new skills is good for stoking their flame while reinvigorating their morale.
It's a labor shortage bandaid
For manufacturers, labor shortages are especially dire. According to Deloitte, the U.S. will have 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030. That number may be scary, but reskilling is at least a temporary solution to mitigate the problem. By reskilling your company, you squeeze as much productivity from your employees as possible. Put simply, it's a good way to pick up the slack left behind by the gap in your workforce.
Mentorship is a great way to empower employees
When it comes to mentorship, the mentor has as much to gain as the mentee. In simpler terms, to ask an employee to take someone under their wing is to recognize them for their knowledge and expertise.
While the mentee develops their skills professionally, the mentor is empowered to perform their best with the positive recognition that the opportunity implies. Establishing a mentorship program in your workplace will go a long way toward reskilling and reinventing your company for the future.