When I was leading Organizational Development strategies at my former company, we used to call it the “getting hit by a bus” scenario. Then someone decided that was too morbid so it was rephrased to the “winning the lottery” scenario. In either case, we used the scenario to help the C suite and other senior leaders to think through who would replace their most critical employees if they no longer worked at the company. If your best and brightest employee won the lottery one evening and didn’t show up for work the next day, how would operations continue with minimal disruption to employees, customers, and stakeholders?
Facing the reality that the current workforce is dwindling down due to the silver tsunami sweeping the industry, manufacturers have a hard time finding quality replacement. The silver tsunami refers to the large number of baby boomers who are retiring from the workforce. For manufacturers, this is the majority of workers – they are not only losing employees, but also years of acquired knowledge and skills. It is time have to get creative about finding and developing talent while riding the tsunami wave. The problem is the disconnect between the industry and the general public. Unfortunately, the next generation of workers has misconceptions about manufacturing and trade jobs.