There’s no doubt that technology has been transforming the workplace, and at an even faster pace today than ever before. But technological transformation is meaningless without a culture that enables risk taking and change, and talented employees who can manage, implement, and sustain a specialized portfolio of products and services in this newly technological manufacturing world. Whether you’re implementing Internet of Things (IOT), machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), or all three, succeeding over the long term requires organizational overhaul to attract the best teams. You’ll also need to invest in your existing workforce to help longtime employees build the skills needed to keep up with the digital revolution.
You might be tempted to react to market challenges with cost-cutting and downsizing, but that approach will likely fail. Instead, identify critical current and future talent needs that the organization must nurture. It’s essential to create a consistency of core values and a shared mission among diverse employees who feel empowered to work across functions to test out new ideas and challenge the status quo. Let’s look at how you can create this nimble new workplace in your industrial manufacturing business to increase productivity and get the right people.
Start Attracting Talent Now
You need to look for new talent now, and be more open about where you’ll find the best employees. You may need to look somewhere you don’t expect: Consider hiring people who are not necessarily prepared for a career in industrial equipment but are technologically savvy and a solid asset for a manufacturer in transition. Allow these new hires to work with experienced industry personnel to build a healthy mix of talent on each team. Provide multiple opportunities for these fresh recruits to ply their technological skills and add value to the company.
Invest in Education and Training
The general workforce is often lacking the math, engineering, and programming skills necessary to operate the factories of the future. To combat this, some countries have apprenticeship systems that educate workers on the job. Consider following that example, partnering with community colleges, nonprofits, and government agencies to develop skills training and vocational programs that will prepare entry-level employees for your company’s specific needs. In-house training as well as external partnerships will also help to prepare the existing employee base to program, operate, and maintain the robots and digitally enabled machinery they will be standing alongside in the production lines.
Remake the Workplace Culture
Industrial manufacturers must compete fiercely with tech companies and startups to attract more millennial talent. These workers tend to prefer flexible work environments that are light on hierarchy and encourage creativity and risk taking. You can match several of those needs through workspace design.
Success Depends on People
Industrial manufacturers must get out in front of this war for talent. Corporate culture that has been part of a company’s DNA for decades cannot be overhauled overnight. These businesses need to start building workplaces and processes to attract and retain the most skilled and educated workers before the next big wave of hiring hits.
The biggest challenge for industrial manufacturing companies in the process of digital transformation isn’t the technology, it’s the people. It’s critical to understand the importance of this part of the equation as leaders implement a new era of digital industry. Success will depend largely on the digital IQ of leaders and their teams. The make-up of the workforce will need to change drastically, but transformation can be hard on individual employees. Leaders must deploy and enhance change management capabilities to help ease their people through this radical disruption, working closely with teams across all functions before, during, and after implementation.
Prepare with PositiveVision
Prepare your people—both seasoned employees and new—for all the ways technology will help you increase productivity by making sure you have the best software in place and offer training so that it is used to the best of its capabilities. At PositiveVision, our goal is to ensure businesses have innovative and effective software solutions in place for increased productivity, reduced inefficiencies, and growing revenue. Let us help you find the perfect RP, CRM, BI, or WMS solution to prepare your manufacturing business for the best and brightest employees and a profitable future. Contact us today.