Training: Responding to the Skills Gap
Create Effective Training and Upskilling Programs to Engage Employees
Sometimes we forget that the workforce shortages began long before the pandemic did, but it is a positive development that they are finally getting the multi-faceted attention they deserve.
Legislation can improve educational opportunities, childcare opportunities, technological advances and more, and those long-range policies are crucial to systemically solving these problems, but manufacturers need boots on the floor yesterday.
The median cost of replacing an employee is 21 percent of their annual salary, and a new employee takes five to nine months to reach productivity. It is imperative for manufacturers to create effective training and upskilling programs that retrain and engage current employees. Many manufacturers are using tried and true training techniques to leverage their current employees. Mentorships and apprenticeships are valuable knowledge transfer methods and are proven to improve employee retention. Many manufacturers are working to leverage technology in their training programs including AI and VR that allow for cost-effective remote training and easy data collection. But probably the best way to improve retention and build a sustainable workforce is to use Lean manufacturing principles.
Lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, operational excellence, whatever you call it, increases value for the customer by making sure the workers have what they need to excel. The system relies on workers' knowledge and experience to consistently improve processes and reduce waste. Respect for the workers. It's that simple, and that complicated.
Manufacturers across the U.S. are re-evaluating their Lean practices and rebuilding their Lean systems to reflect today's workplace needs and workforce needs. Contact Steve Lockwood (