AI and connected worker technology is helping frontline managers combat employee burnout and improve engagement and retention.

Industrial work comes with an immense amount of stress. Without providing the worker with the right level of support, this stress can lead to increased errors, poor work performance, and eventually, employee burnout. Recently, Gallup reported that 76% of employees experience some form of workplace burnout. This not only affects performance and productivity but much more, including engagement and employee retention.

employee burnout

To offset employee burnout, managers should aim to:

  • Reduce employee stress
  • Remove roadblocks ensuring their workers have the proper tools to complete their tasks
  • Ensure workers are a good match skill-wise for the work they are doing
  • Give workers a say in how the work is completed
  • Empower workers to believe that the work they are doing is valued and important

road to flow

In a 2022 Gallup poll, 79% of employees responded as not being engaged at work, this same poll found that most employees don’t find their work meaningful and do not feel hopeful about their careers.

When supporting workers and battling workplace burnout, there is no “one size fits all” answer, and many organizations are realizing that taking the same approach for “desk workers” does not account for the many and uniquely different needs demanded by frontline or “deskless” workers. Managers must keep in mind these needs when combating and detecting burnout and boosting employee engagement.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based technology combined with a worker-centric approach can help tremendously in this respect, accounting for the human element in industrial operations while still taking advantage of innovations.

Using AI to Enhance Worker Experience and Reduce Burnout

By utilizing the capabilities of connected worker platforms and AI, companies can take a proactive approach to reducing stress and preventing employee burnout.

The meteoric rise of AI tools like ChatGPT and natural language processing has created a surge in interest in all things AI and while it’s not a cure-all, AI has the potential to be extremely effective in helping workers get access to the information and support they need while on the job, as well as predicting, detecting, and reducing workplace burnout. By taking highly granular connected worker data and using AI to filter out the unnecessary portions, industrial operations are able to not only improve tasks and productivity but better support and empower frontline workers. Organizations can use AI to engage employees by:

  • Creating communication touchpoints and streamlining communication
  • Pairing workers and tasks based on skill level
  • Suggesting training and certification opportunities for upskilling workers
  • Create feedback paths so employees have a say in how tasks are completed

To complement AI and software platforms, organizations can implement other tools such as wearable devices, mental health applications, and more to aid in engagement efforts. Finding the right balance and combination is key for knowledge exchange and conversation – making employees more engaged within the team.

The Human Element

It is important to take advantage of new technologies and implement them where needed, but technology by itself is not the answer. Finding a balance between technology integration and a worker-driven approach is key and it is paramount that the true needs of the workforce are not forgotten. Although AI and machine learning-based technology can help tremendously with detecting and reducing employee burnout, it has its limits and can only do so much. Technology cannot replace how workers feel and how they interact with management on a day-to-day basis. And at the end of the day, AI can only augment employees and should be used to empower them, never to replace them.

Learn the five steps to upskill and reskill manufacturing employees. Find out the benefits such as improving productivity and retention.

While the terms ‘upskill’ and ‘reskill’ in reference to manufacturing workers are often used interchangeably, they are not the same.

Upskilling refers to cultivating a worker’s skillset to help them excel in their current role. Meanwhile, reskilling involves teaching an employee new skills in order to transition to a new role.

For example, a programmer can be reskilled to become a systems analyst. Or workers can be upskilled to manage technology as more jobs become automated.

Half of all workers will need to be upskilled by 2025 as more jobs become digitized, according to the World Economic Forum. Workers will take on more critical thinking and problem-solving roles, leaving technical tasks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Furthermore, the growing skilled labor gap in manufacturing has created a workforce shortage, and upskilling and training are becoming necessary to ensure production capacity is met.

Explore the following topics below to learn more about upskilling and reskilling in manufacturing, including a step by step guides to reskilling and upskilling manufacturing workers.

What does upskill mean?

Upskilling involves evaluating an employee’s existing skills and helping them to advance in their current role. It helps facilitate continuous learning by providing training opportunities to develop employee skills.

It can involve refining either soft skills or technical skills to fill workplace gaps. For instance, emotional intelligence is a soft skill that can be honed in leadership roles. Similarly, technical skills are needed in many manufacturing positions. Working with technology is a must as companies automate more and more of their operations.

An HR representative with data analytics experience, for example, can hone their skills to take on more specialized tasks. This can consist of taking a class to gain more knowledge or attending a virtual conference to learn about industry-specific technology.

Upskilling staff can help your business stay on top of industry trends and pivot in an ever-changing digital landscape.

What is reskilling?

Reskilling involves learning new skills to move on to a new role within a company. It’s also a cost-effective alternative to hiring new employees.

For example, an electrician may have excellent planning and job estimation skills. The organization could choose to reskill that worker to an estimation position instead of hiring someone from the outside.

Or an employer could reskill a production assembler to work as a maintenance technician. The new role may require taking a series of training courses and completing certain safety classes or certifications.

Reskilling and upskilling are efficient ways to retain a manufacturing workforce. Both provide opportunities to help workers grow and advance skills. Learn how to upskill and reskill staff with the following steps.

How to upskill manufacturing workers

It’s important to have a clear plan to upskill manufacturing workers:

Step 1: Assess current skills.

It’s crucial to map employees’ current skills. This data will serve as the baseline for measuring employee progress.

A great way to outline worker skills is through a skills matrix, which digitizes and helps accurately track skills across your organization. This can help identify any skills gaps that exist in current departments.

skills matrix

Step 2: Access skills needed for the future.

After assessing current employee skills, it’s time to identify any skills needed for the future. Keep in mind that these must align with any changes expected to occur in the manufacturing industry or in your long-term business plan.

Step 3: Create upskilling goals.

Set employee-specific goals. For example, you may want each worker to take training courses to hone job-specific skills.

Step 4: Match workers with new learning opportunities.

Workers can develop skills through new learning opportunities. It’s important to offer training and development opportunities that help workers grow and foster their skills.

Step 5: Monitor progress.

By this stage, you should have mapped employee skills and outlined which ones are needed. It’s important to monitor any progress made. Organizations that digitally track employee skills can map “what the worker has been trained on” to actual job performance (“how the worker is doing”) to create a true representation of proficiency gaps and upskilling opportunities.

skills job proficiency mapping

How to reskill manufacturing workers

If you’re looking to reskill manufacturing workers, consider the following steps below:

Step 1: Identify what skills need cultivating.

Pinpoint which skills are the most valuable and create training programs to train workers on those skills. Think about which new roles need to be created.

Step 2: Integrate upskilling.

It’s vital to start training employees and offering resources to advance skills. For example, training your workers on how to operate digital tools or a specific piece of equipment can help them take advantage of promotion opportunities down the line.

skills job proficiency mapping

Step 3: Customize learning plan.

Develop a plan of core learning opportunities for any skillsets that are needed now or in the future. For example, you can customize learning plans to specific roles.

Step 4: Test and adjust.

Developing a perfect reskilling plan on the first try is no small feat. Be willing to acknowledge any mistakes and fix them.

Step 5: Invest in budget.

Allocating enough financial resources for reskilling employees is vital to company growth. Modify your budget to make reskilling a priority.

Benefits of upskilling and reskilling manufacturing employees

Workplace roles are changing and expanding in the age of automation. This change can bring about skill gaps that need to be filled for a business to stay ahead of the curve.

Upskilling and reskilling manufacturing employees has a number of long-term benefits for employers, such as:

  • Boosts retention. Investing in your employees’ skills development fosters better relationships. Workers who feel valued are less likely to leave. Improving retention can save businesses money on hiring and training new workers.
  • Improves morale. Businesses that offer training and development opportunities help their workers grow and move forward in the company. This can help employees feel like they’re working toward something and not staying stagnant within the company.
  • Improves quality and productivity. Beyond retention and morale improvement, upskilling and reskilling can have production benefits. A more skilled and trained workforce can result in improved quality, productivity, and efficiency throughout your organization.

Looking to improve upskilling and reskilling within your organization?

Augmentir’s suite of smart connected worker tools helps manufacturing organizations create a more skilled and productive workforce. Find out how our software can make it easier to reskill and upskill manufacturing workers in your organization. If you’d like a demo, let us know and we’ll be in touch.

Learn about the best practices for optimal asset maintenance performance and how to track your assets to ensure that everything is in working condition.

Staying ahead of the curve in today’s manufacturing marketplace means that businesses need to innovate and adapt. To accomplish this, organizations must have a skilled workforce and ongoing training and workforce management processes to support continuous learning and development.

Modernizing training cultivates employee skillsets by implementing continuous learning in the flow of work.

modernize manufacturing training with continuous learning

Continuous learning is the process of attaining new skills on a constant basis. Workflow learning involves educating yourself on the job using resources and self-directed learning materials. Done together, this modern training approach can help streamline productivity.

If you want to learn how to improve manufacturing training with continuous learning and workflow learning, explore this article that answers the following:

What is continuous learning?

Continuous learning in manufacturing involves enabling workers to learn new skills regularly. It’s a great way to improve employee performance and innovation. According to Forbes, embracing a culture of continuous learning can help organizations adapt to market demands, foster innovation, as well as attract and retain top talent.

Learning can come in different forms, from formal course training to hands-on experience. Employees are encouraged to be self-starters who want to evolve their skills on an on-going basis. A good example of a continuous learning model is everboarding; everboarding is a modern approach toward employee onboarding and training that shifts away from the traditional “one-and-done” onboarding model and recognizes learning as an ongoing process.

How can continuous learning be used in manufacturing?

When businesses don’t support continuous learning, manufacturing processes stagnate. This contributes to a lack of innovation and hinders potential opportunities for success that a company may experience.

In a nutshell, the more workers know and the more they can accomplish, the more they can contribute to business growth. This may consist of employees taking an online course or learning a new technique hands-on, no matter what department they’re in.

For example, assembly line workers may learn new manufacturing processes to ensure everything is functioning properly. Meanwhile, operators may study the latest machinery to learn new tricks of the trade.

What is workflow learning?

Workflow training in manufacturing involves learning while doing. This means that workers pick up new skills while on the job through hands-on experience.

The key to workflow learning is that it happens while employees perform their everyday tasks.

Many workers in the manufacturing industry work in shift-based environments, making it difficult for them to attend traditional classroom-based training sessions. With workflow learning, organizations can incorporate more learning processes into the everyday workday of frontline workers – essentially bridging the gap between knowing and doing. This “active learning” aligns with the Pyramid of Learning visual model that illustrates the different stages of learning and their relative effectiveness.

pyramid of learning

Active learning involves the learner actively engaging with the material, often through problem-solving, discussion, or application of the knowledge while they are on the job.

In general, active learning is considered more effective than passive learning in promoting deep understanding and retention of information. Therefore, learning leaders often strive to design learning experiences that involve higher levels of active learning, moving beyond the lower levels of the pyramid and promoting critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

How can workflow learning be used in manufacturing?

Workflow learning consists of using resources at your disposal to complete tasks. This strategy is sometimes referred to as performance support.

For example, workers can look up answers to questions, steps of a process, or new services while performing their jobs instead of interrupting their workflow to go to a class or training session.

Pro Tip

Active, or workflow learning can be implemented with mobile learning solutions that leverage connected worker technology and AI to provide workers with bite-sized, on-demand training modules that they can access on smartphones or tablets. These modules can be developed with customized learning paths that are focused on the type of tasks and work employees are doing on the factory floor.


How can technology improve manufacturing training?

The nature of manufacturing training is changing in the age of artificial intelligence. Today, many training processes can be streamlined and optimized using digital and smart, connected worker technologies.

For instance, data collected from everyday manufacturing processes can polish training programs online. Experienced workers can share best practices on customized dashboards for other employees to access. These can be updated in real-time and show changes highlighted to better optimize manufacturing processes.

Digital training tools can also help improve learning speed and retention. For example, workers who need visuals or real-world scenarios can assess them using AI-powered software to maximize their training.


Augmentir is the world’s leading AI-powered connected worker solution that helps industrial companies optimize the safety, quality, and productivity of the industrial frontline workforce. Contact us for a live demo, and learn why leading manufacturers are choosing us to elevate their manufacturing operations to the next level.


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Augmentir’s take on the trending Workforce Institute’s staggering survey numbers.

Employee onboarding is crucial to any organization. It’s even more important in manufacturing, where workers have to understand complex operating procedures and accomplish tasks in a timely manner.

An employee’s first impression of a workplace can set the tone for their entire experience with the company. An engaging and informative onboarding process can improve job performance by setting up workers for success.

Plus, an employee is more likely to speak highly of the business they work for if they see themselves as a valuable member of the team.

If want to improve your manufacturing employee onboarding process, explore this article that goes over the following:

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process in which new hires are integrated into a company. It involves training activities, a new-hire orientation, and learning about the business’s structure, culture, mission and values.

Finding the right candidate for a position is the first step to building a successful team. Onboarding that new employee is the most important next step. Done right, this process can set the precedent for a productive, content and even excited worker.

The two main goals of the first day of onboarding should be to set clear employee expectations and introduce their objectives. Workers should know what their job duties and responsibilities are from the get-go.

How is onboarding different from employee orientation?

Onboarding is often confused with employee orientation. Orientation usually involves completing necessary paperwork, while the onboarding process is comprehensive and can last for months.

Employee orientation is a one-time event. Its purpose is to welcome new hires to a company and introduce a checklist of mandatory tasks to complete such as filling out forms.

Employee onboarding, meanwhile, consists of completing a series of activities, including orientation. It includes training over a longer period of time to help workers learn more about their roles, their teams and how their jobs relate to overarching company goals.

Both onboarding and orientation are critical aspects of introducing employees to their new work environment. They also complement each other in improving employee engagement.

How to effectively onboard new hires

Investing time in your workers is one of the best ways to retain employees and boost productivity.

A new hire’s first few weeks are some of the most important in setting up expectations and building their personal investment in your company.

Go above and beyond and you’ll reap the benefits. Overlook the onboarding experience and you could have unsatisfied employees.

Here are five ways to effectively onboard new hires:

Step 1: Create a worker playbook.

Start by giving a general overview of your business, including your mission, values and perks. Some things to include are:

  • Your customers and stakeholders
  • Work culture and expectations
  • Team members/employees
  • What company success and growth look like

Step 2: Set 90-day goals.

Giving new hires direction and actionable items from the start is important. Identify some goals to work towards to give employees the confidence to excel in the company.

Be sure to provide any resources they will need and connect employees with other workers who can help them. Having a clear plan will make it easier to track goals and collaborate with workers along the way.

Step 3: Set a time to meet and provide feedback.

Set aside time to meet with new hires to provide feedback and ask how they are doing. This can foster connectedness and engagement between you and your employee.

This also gives you the opportunity to learn more about your workers and address any concerns they may have.

It also lets you elicit employee observations of the company and its processes, which can be insightful. A new hire may offer ideas that people invested in the current paradigm wouldn’t think of.

Step 4: Outline schedule and job duties.

It’s crucial to set consistent work schedules to ensure productivity. Loose or frequently changing schedules can lead new hires to think your organization is disorganized.

Further, outlining job duties (such as required skills) can also give employees a sense of direction and ensure they have plenty to work on.

Consider digitizing your onboarding and training program to help accelerate the overall onboarding schedule and get your employees productive faster, and build a program that incorporates the following:

  • Job expectations
  • Performance evaluation
  • Role shadowing
  • Training opportunities
  • HR meetings/employee documentation
  • Compliance training
  • Ongoing assessment through quizzing

In time, new hires will have a better idea of their workload and how to create and execute their own daily task lists.

Step 5: Set up continuous learning opportunities.

The best results from onboarding come months after the process is over. That’s because setting up continuous employee learning opportunities fosters professional development.

A worker can take everything that they learned from the onboarding process and apply it to their day-to-day tasks. Give workers the support and guidance they need, at the moment of need, whether it’s immediate access to a digital troubleshooting guide, or connecting virtually with a subject matter expert. Delivering personalized work procedures for every worker allows for continuous learning and growth.

Why onboarding is important in manufacturing

Creating effective onboarding programs can boost employee engagement and create a manufacturing workforce that excels in industry-related skills.

Effective onboarding has also been shown to:

  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Cultivate existing and new skills
  • Integrate workers more quickly
  • Foster long-term employee satisfaction
  • Create the foundation for workforce development

Optimizing onboarding with connected worker technology

Many manufacturing companies are using modern connected worker technology to transform and optimize how they hire, onboard, train, and deliver on-the-job guidance and support. AI-based connected worker software provides a data-driven approach that helps train, guide, and support today’s dynamic workforces by combining digital work instructions, remote collaboration, and advanced on-the-job training capabilities.

As workers become more connected, manufacturers have access to a new rich source of activity, execution, and tribal data, and with proper digital tools can gain insights into areas where the largest improvement opportunities exist. Today’s workers embrace change and expect technology, support and modern tools to help them do their jobs.

Augmentir’s AI-based connected worker solution delivers continuous learning and development tools to optimize onboarding training for a rapidly changing and diverse workforce.

Built-in reporting for skills management and job proficiency allows you to accurately track and manage skills, certifications, and qualifications for your team. AI-based analytics help you better understand your workforce and make informed workforce development decisions.

intelligently assign jobs

Find out how our software can make it easier to onboard new employees and set them up for success. Contact us today to arrange a demo.