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Smart Skills Management software is helping manufacturers bridge the gap between training, skills, and work to build a more resilient and agile workforce.

Where are you on your journey with adopting new and emerging technologies? Many manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon for some of the latest tools that provide visibility on the productivity of workers. Maybe you decided to implement digital work instructions to help workers safely and efficiently perform tasks independently. Or maybe you’ve bought skills management software to help you catalog and organize the skills and capabilities of different workers. But are either of these enough on their own to achieve all your production goals? Possibly, but unlikely.

Digital work instructions on their own deliver standard work guidelines but fail to consider the unique skills of each worker. Standalone skills management programs may offer a highlight reel of the skills and certifications of your workers but neglect to capture performance in real-time to provide accurate skills evaluations. Nor do they offer personalized training content needed to ensure workers perform their absolute best. Can we agree then these two features should go hand-in-hand?

One cannot exist without the other: Blending skills management and digital work instructions

In the past, standalone skills management systems were sufficient because:

  • Turnover was infrequent so line supervisors knew everyone on their team and their current skills and endorsements, making it easy for the supervisor to assign work safely and optimally
  • Investments in training, reskilling, and upskilling were performed either in a one size fits all approach or through a purely subjective or anecdotal approach

Today, however, a different situation exists.

Line supervisors are dealing with team members that they don’t know well, new ones starting every day, and experienced ones leaving.  This creates safety issues and makes optimally assigning work difficult as not only are the workers variable, but their skill levels and certifications are a constantly moving target.

An integrated, closed-loop skills management system is the solution for this era of high workforce turnover and absenteeism.

 

skills and work

 

Skills management solutions that combine skills tracking capabilities with connected worker technology and on-the-job digital guidance can deliver significant additional value. Data from actual work performance can inform workforce development initiatives allowing you to target your training, reskilling, and upskilling efforts where they have the largest impact.

It can generate an abundance of valuable data to provide tailored training support and skills endorsements and identify workforce opportunities. What else is possible? Imagine reducing training costs, optimizing job scheduling, increasing safety, and improving productivity. And now consider what will happen when you add smart technology to this all-in-one package.

 

intelligently assign jobs

The power of smart digitization! Skills management and digital work instructions together boost productivity.

Connected worker solutions that combine skills management with digital work instructions, collaboration, and knowledge management are uniquely suited to optimize today’s variable workforce. AI-generated insights are pulled from patterns identified across all work activity in real-time. These insights identify where new and experienced workers may benefit from either reskilling or upskilling.

This combination of smart digital technology can also leverage your training resources, such as instructional videos, written instructions, or access to remote experts, to deliver personalized guidance for the worker to perform their best. These tools intelligently work together to help you assign workers to procedures based on required skill levels. No second guessing! Augmentir is the only smart connected worker solution to intertwine these management tools with AI making it a powerhouse for optimizing your operations and meeting production targets.

 

 

Learn how Smart Skills Management software is helping manufacturers bridge the gap between training, skills, and work to build a more resilient and agile workforce.

Download our latest eBook – The Future of Work: Connecting Skills Management with Standard Work.

 

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

Although the terms upskill and reskill are 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.

Upskilling and reskilling employees are efficient ways to retain a 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 before upskilling 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 upskill and reskill workers in your manufacturing operation. If you’d like a demo, let us know and we’ll be in touch.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis in manufacturing.

 

Is it just us or does recruiting, training, and retaining top talent today feel a lot like searching for that one elusive puzzle piece? 

The seismic shift in the workforce is forcing us to get creative and be adaptable like never before. We can no longer try to force fit the old model of staffing and training into a space that looks drastically different. It’s not just about a labor shortage or the supply chain challenges created by the pandemic. Workers themselves are changing. What they want from work, and how they want to work. 

It’s a new generation and if we want to remain competitive in hiring in this ultra-competitive environment, we need to embrace the variable nature of the labor market and meet workers where they are. 

The solution to this head-scratching puzzle? AI-based technology. Digital work instructions and individualized training and on-the-job support can improve productivity, reliability, independence, and safety for every worker. It offers flexibility in scheduling for operations managers. It reduces downtime. All of which contribute to a more efficient – and profitable – operation.

Sound too good to be true? Brace yourselves. It’s not. Here are three ways that AI-powered technology can help.

1. Moving onboarding and training closer to the point of work

Imagine if we can teach someone in the context of doing their work. We could see an increase in productivity as they constantly evolve their learnings.

AI is allowing companies to understand a worker’s skillset and provides the ability for personalized digital work instructions to guide them in the context of work while they are doing their job, whether it’s a new worker or one with dozens of years of experience. With an AI-based onboarding approach, organizations are able to hire a wider range of individuals with varying skill sets and get those individuals productive faster.

2. Give support at the moment of need

Are you a people watcher? We are. Ever take notice of who is on the factory floor? Last time I checked, we got the “newbies” and “veterans”. The variability of the workforce, both skilled and young, proves that there’s not a one size fits all approach to troubleshooting and performance support.

Enter AI.

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.

3. Improve engagement and retention

Workers that are connected and empowered with digital technology can discover and nurture diverse skills based on their unique competencies and experience. They can earn greater responsibility and independence. This increases confidence and job satisfaction. Which in turn can improve employee retention and slow the revolving door of continual recruiting and training. 

The aftermath?

Workers are likely to stay and want to grow in the company when they feel included. Shortly, workers begin walking with poise and a “can-do” attitude to their next job task.

 

What else is possible with AI-powered connected worker technology?

AI-based technology is ideal for training workers in this variable environment. AI-based systems individualize information about workers based on previous training and data-driven performance insights. It offers step-by-step guidance at the moment of need for regularly scheduled maintenance as well as troubleshooting. It helps managers learn about workers’ existing skills and build a rationale for specific roles, resources, and certification support and then make clear recommendations based on demands.

Technology should fit into your business as simply as sliding that last puzzle piece into place. Workers are the heart of your business, and you should adapt techonogy to fit your business, not the other way around.

Technology should fit into your business as simply as sliding that last puzzle piece into place. That includes how you train your workers. But no two workers are exactly alike. Each will learn and approach problems differently. So why not use the technology that recognizes and adapts to those differences to your advantage?

 

To learn more about how Augmentir can help you embrace this opportunity, contact us for a personalized demo.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

Are you still printing work instructions and operating manuals? If so, we need to have a serious chat! Maybe you invested in “going digital” a while back and think your work is done. You’re not alone. It was considered “groundbreaking” when PDF files made their way to the factory floor. 

The first generation of digital work instructions were birthed after learning 46 percent of field technicians claimed paperwork and administrative tasks were the worst part of their day-to-day job. No argument here. Completing and filing paperwork is time-consuming and there is potential for lost information. There was an obvious upside to going digital, except for no longer being able to tell your supervisor that your dog ate your worker performance report. 

But even now that technology is ready for the archives. An estimated $1.3 trillion (and counting!) has been spent on digital transformation initiatives as the online connected workplace and market continue to move at a rapid pace. 

We are no fortune tellers, but studies show that 25 to 31 percent of 3.3. million business service jobs will be automated in the next decade. This doesn’t mean everyone is being replaced by robots. On the contrary. It means technology is improving to help workers do their jobs even better. Manufacturing companies need to be prepared to hop on this next-generation train if they aren’t already.

Move over one-size-fits-all training and work instructions 

The individualized, real-time, connected worker platform is here. Let us emphasize individualized. Connected worker platforms are being implemented in myriad industries, from automotive to food processing. Any industry which is adapting daily to the constant shifts and pressures of the global economy. Regardless of the industry, standard digital work instructions are no longer effective. They do not reflect the real-time changes happening in the operation, such as order fulfilment and materials inventory, or equipment maintenance needs and the capabilities of the workers operating the machines. Imagine working on the manufacturing floor for five years and handed with the same standardized work instructions as the new hire.

Does this make sense? Not anymore. Not when AI-based technology is changing what’s possible. And what’s different about this latest wave of technology that makes it so special? It’s built around optimizing the performance of people (Gasp.)

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. – John C. Maxwell

A marriage made in heaven–the next generation of workers is ready for a digitally connected workplace

Recruiting and retaining talented workers is one of the greatest challenges facing operations today. We get it. But there’s good news. As one generation of workers readies for retirement, another is stepping up to fill the gap. Gen Z is overflowing with talented innovators in the tech world having grown up surrounded by non-stop advancements and devices. Need one of them to look somebody up in the phone book? Forget it. But need assistance when your home computer suddenly “dies”? These are your people. 

It’s more than video games. Their education has been largely based on a digital foundation. Nearly every function of their daily lives has an element of connectivity to the broader online world. You could say this generation is hardwired to respond best to customized digital learning platforms. It’s their love language. And so the potential to drastically improve productivity is real.

The beauty of the digitally connected worker–could they be “the One”?

The digitally connected worker has all the right stuff for a long-lasting relationship with your operation. The digital training and work instruction platform holds their unique inventory of skills, goals, and performance history, and works with them to become a better version of themselves on the floor. Workers whose individual needs are supported are better, more engaged employees. They have the self-confidence – as well as the tools and specific instructions – to address problems head on when they arise. An investment in AI-powered technology is an investment in a stable, adaptable, and reliable workforce.

Are you and your workforce ready to take this next step in digitization? Contact Augmentir to start the conversation. Together let’s step into the full potential that this generation has to offer to improve your operational efficiency.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

It wouldn’t be fair to attribute all of manufacturing’s current labor shortage woes to the pandemic–there are a lot of factors contributing to this frustrating situation, and many of them were looming long before we ever heard of COVID-19. Did it make things worse? Probably. And the forecast doesn’t look very sunny if you believe what analysts have to say about it.

Sure, the face of the workforce has changed dramatically. The pool of potential laborers has shrunk. Businesses are being forced to hire people traditionally considered under-qualified. And that leads to a whole host of other complications, including a drop in operational efficiency, a rise in safety issues, and more. The pessimists out there would only see the threat to the global market these challenges pose–the manufacturing industry does make up between 11 and 12 percent of the US economy after all.

Good thing we’re optimists at heart! Behind every challenge is an opportunity, as far as we’re concerned. And when it comes to this challenging labor market in particular, we see a huge opportunity for businesses to work with what they’ve got, and still reach operational goals. We have the potential to assess how every worker performs on the job, regardless of the experience and skill set they bring on day one, and use that information to improve individual and enterprise-wide performance. Puts a new light on the labor shortage, doesn’t it?

You can’t fix what you can’t see.

We know using data is important to directing and improving operations–that’s business best practices 101. But insights drawn are only as good as the data itself. And even though there can’t be many businesses out there who haven’t yet jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon, we suspect a lot still rely on outdated data collecting and reporting mechanisms. Those digital spreadsheets had their moment, but we’ve got better options now. Maybe you opted for a bluetooth software program or distributing a digital survey for your workers. But even with those innovations, what do these data indicators really tell you? Is this reliable and usable information? We didn’t think so either.

Imagine what you could do with real-time data, rather than a summary of operational KPIs at the end of set periods? Even better–imagine capturing the performance metrics of each individual worker rather than their self-generated assessments and observations and having the potential to use that knowledge to improve their skill set and operational proficiency. That’s when data becomes intelligence. And that intelligence has the potential to become so valuable to your enterprise that you’ll wonder how you ever operated without it.

Not convinced you could benefit from data at that level of individual performance? Let us draw an analogy we think you’ll appreciate.

Think of each worker as a newly licensed driver; what happens after passing the road test?

Remember the day you got your driver’s license? We spent hours, if not days and weeks practicing behind the wheel, eagerly waiting to be evaluated by a driving instructor. And let’s be honest, plenty of us winged it, too. Either way, once you show them you can do a three-point-turn and know to stop at the flashing pedestrian crossing sign, everyone walks away with the proof of their proficiency–a driver’s license. 

Then what happened? Nothing. Maybe a celebratory high-five and then eventually years of driving. In one, five, or ten years, what do we know about each person’s capabilities? Unless they’ve wracked up a stack of tickets for traffic violations, we don’t know anything. For all we know, they haven’t sat behind the steering wheel since passing. There is no mechanism to re-assess whether drivers are highly skilled or at-risk of creating an accident in operations.

Now what if we looked at our frontline workers through that lens? You know when they were hired that they could perform X, Y and Z. Some could do even more. But what about after that? What if you could assign an AI-based driver instructor to follow each new driver around for ongoing assessment and intervention in the moment of need?

Put smart connected worker technology in the passenger seat

Adopting connected worker technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) increases the reliability and credibility of data by analyzing employee performance in ‘real-time.’ That individualized data can be used to connect workers with a company’s digital library of training tools and resources, having an immediate impact on operational proficiency and cultivating a healthy learning environment for workers.

Connected worker technology that leverages AI offers self-guided learning processes when opportunities are identified, reduces human error and improves safety, provides updates on pressing issues and equipment failures and access to a variety of applications. Who wouldn’t want to work for an organization like this? One that offers a high probability of job satisfaction and encourages personal skill development? A culture like that can help the operation on many levels, from reducing operational costs to attracting new employees. 

What now? There is only one connected worker solution that can provide this level of intelligence on your workforce–contact us to learn more about how Augmentir can benefit your business and ask for a demo!

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.

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

Everyone is talking about it. The skilled labor shortage. It’s not a temporary problem. It’s here to stay. So instead of panicking and trying to use the same old strategies to identify, recruit and retain the increasingly rare skilled and experienced worker, let us present a different way of looking at the labor challenge. Spoiler alert: we see opportunity!

But first, let’s unpack some recent survey findings about the labor market. 

According to a survey by the Workforce Institute, a whopping 87 percent of manufacturers are feeling the ramifications of the lack of skilled labor, including staff misalignment along the production lines, burnout, and supply chain disruption. 

Finding workers with the right skills, education and certifications can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack–hopeless and painful. The shrinking talent pool is forcing companies to rehire former employees who previously quit with limited skills or individuals with no manufacturing experience; it probably feels like the only viable option for production survival.

Where do you start with this new variable workforce? Standardized training programs? Excel spreadsheets for tracking and monitoring? These methods pose a concern for all workers on your production lines, regardless of their experience or skill set. Who needs what training? Who is responsible for tracking productivity and capturing relevant data? How confident are you in endorsing skills and assigning production teams with limited or imprecise information?

The old way would have led to panic. Today, there’s a better, smarter way. Today’s variable workforce in the manufacturing world is perfectly suited to adopt smart technology that will reduce, if not eliminate, the challenges associated with the labor shortage. Remember that thing we said about opportunity? Here it is.

Stay calm and carry on: smart digital tech can have an immediate and direct impact on learning about and managing worker skills.

Imagine if you could learn about a worker’s skills by tracking their performance in real time, immediately deliver training resources tailored to them based on their proficiency and certifications and then match them confidently to a production team where they’ll make a meaningful contribution. Sound like wishful thinking? It’s not.

Smart connected worker technology can collect data on worker patterns by tracking their performance journeys. It pulls relevant resources from the company inventory to deliver customized training programs. With the right training in place workers are engaged and feel safe while performing tasks. And, your teams are equipped to meet productivity goals.

The labor shortage is just a statistic. A smart connected worker suite is the solution.

Augmentir’s smart connected worker suite closes the gap between training and worker execution. Digitized instruction and skills management programs display and organize workers’ proficiencies based on levels of expertise. AI-driven insights monitor and easily match workers with procedures by assigning skills criteria. This proprietary Smart AI technology intelligently prompts workers for continuous training and accurately identifies appropriate skills endorsements to managers, helping them create better production lines. It’s the only solution of its kind on the market.

Kylene Zenk, Director of the Manufacturing Practice at UKG sees opportunity, too:

“If you can offer training or can tailor a job to meet candidates’ flexible qualifications, filling open headcount becomes more realistic in a tight labor market.”

We couldn’t agree more. Find out more about how and why manufacturers are taking smarter approaches to building a strong talent pipeline with Augmentir. Contact us for a demo today.

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

Do you remember when offshoring–the outsourcing of production internationally–was once considered the “gold standard” for manufacturers because of reduced costs? Funny how things change. We can partly thank the global pandemic for this. Reshoring, also referred to as ‘onshoring’,  is now the way to go–the apparent panacea to supply chain disruptions and a healthier economy. This should have manufacturers cheering and dancing in the streets, right? Not so fast. We’ve also got a massive labor shortage to deal with. But don’t fret. There are solutions to be found, and they happen to exist in software tools already being embraced by organizations on their journey to digital transformation.

The perks and pressures of reshoring

If your organization isn’t already thinking about reshoring its operations, maybe you should be. Reshoring for manufacturers means greater resiliency, agility, and sustainability by shortening the distances between process and delivery. Less travel means reduced emissions and adherence to ESG standards. Reshoring addresses issues associated with shipping costs, lead times, and new regulations. Working in familiar markets can help identify supply and demand trends more accurately. National employment rates are likely to increase when hiring residents and working with other domestic business partners.

But labor shortages and the variability of today’s workforce have not made reshoring an easy shift. So while there is tremendous opportunity to bring production home, the lack of affordable and skilled labor is having a tremendous impact on our domestic production capacity.

Here’s how you make onshoring work for you. First, stop thinking the old way of recruiting, training, and retaining workers will still work today.

Work with what you’ve got

What’s wrong with training today? Yes, training programs can help improve worker knowledge and skills development. But only if they are meeting the unique needs of individual workers with content-rich, high-impact learning and hands-on training programs. Forget those standard training programs–they are useless in the face of the variable workforce we have available today. The workers you can find are showing up with a mixed bag of experience and skills. That doesn’t have to be a disadvantage anymore. Because there is a smarter way to train and optimize the skills of each of those workers to meet productivity goals individually and fulfill the potential for your organization’s production capacity.

Smart digitization is the ticket to effective onboarding, training, and more–from hire to retire

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

This new era of workforce instability is forcing manufacturers to change. It’s forcing them to turn to digital technology and look at smarter ways to hire, onboard, train, and retain their workers. At Augmentir, we call this Smart Digitization.

What do we mean by ‘smart’ digitization? Smart digitization involves adopting modern, digital tools, mobile technology, and supporting workers throughout their entire lifecycle.

smart digitization throughout worker lifecycle

 

Modern connected worker tools are at the core of the solution that supports workers throughout their employment, from training to troubleshooting in real-time to ongoing learning and development. If you look at the entire employee lifecycle, this means:

  1. Using software tools to digitize and automate onboarding and skills tracking to help get workers operational faster, regardless of their skill and experience.
  2. Once on the job, digitizing and personalizing work instructions based on the individual needs of the worker – whether they are a novice worker or an expert.
  3. Proving instant access to support, within the flow of work.
  4. And finally, using an AI-based system to analyze how workers are performing on the job, and intelligently targeting upskilling and reskilling based on actual work performance.

Workers have access to a suite of digital tools and knowledge resources at their fingertips – digital work instructions, collaboration, and support tools to guide them on the job and quickly problem-solve complex tasks, allowing them to do their personal best.

For employers, this means not only more engaged and collaborative workers, it also means deeper insights into work performance that can help drive continuous improvement efforts.

skills job proficiency mapping

AI-based smart insights intelligently optimize workers’ performance by identifying and tracking their skills in real-time. Smart insights pull from these performance metrics and learn to prompt workers who need new training programs or work opportunities, continuously upskilling and reskilling.

It’s the advanced medicine needed to maximize productivity and operational health.

So as you plan to bring more of your production back home, make sure you’re ready to seize the opportunity and address the challenges of a restricted labor market at the same time.

 

Find out how and why so many manufacturers are turning to Augmentir to turn their workers into efficient, productive, and long-term assets for their businesses.

Check out our latest webinar – Smart Digitization of Frontline Workers to learn more.