On the heels of the global pandemic comes yet another challenge for manufacturers to face: The coming of the “smart factory”. The factory that requires you to upskill your workers just to stay afloat and will leave you and your employees behind if you don’t start planning now. Right now.
This is an original article from JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning.
What Is Work-Based Learning?
Work-based learning refers to meaningful training that takes place at work, usually under the direction of employer coaches and managers, and has been shown to produce high value for both companies and workers.
People are an organization’s most valuable, variable, and rewarding resource for managers in any business. Developing this resource in a positive workplace environment to create a culture of excellence is not magic, but... when it clicks, it is magical, and the rewards can be majestic. OUR people, OUR Team.
It has been a little over a year since the beginning of the pandemic. As you are rebounding from the global crisis, thinking back to the past year, what a great challenge that was. Now, as you continue to operate with the pandemic, what is next? What steps are you taking to protect your company? To strengthen and to make sure you stay competitive during this chaotic time? The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and IMEC wondered the same thing, therefore we reached out to manufacturers seeking answers. Using a 10-questions survey aligning with the US Commerce NIST Baldridge Performance Excellence Framework, over 1000 manufacturers responded with their priorities. In which, over half responded with ‘Creating Growth Opportunities’ as the number one priority.
With more than 10,000 Baby Boomers entering retirement each day, organizations will spend more time contemplating how best to capture and retain departing talent. Combine this need with how quickly workforce, customer requirements, and buying behaviors are changing, you have a perfect talent retention storm.
Now that you’ve taken time to investigate the idea on implementing stay interviews to help retain your workforce, to the next step is to explore the types of skills you will need as an interviewer. Being a successful leader includes holding meaningful conversations - a skill that requires effort and practice. Instead, there are a handful of proven skills that transform the ordinary into extraordinary.
2020 tested companies’ agility and adaptability to the unforeseen. The fortunate companies that were able to keep their doors open, have been learning day by day what is needed to survive and thrive in the future.
One essential piece continues to be pertinent – employees. Employees are the ones who are continuing to generate revenue, produce quality goods, and satisfy customers. Being reminded of this, it is critical to retain those skilled workers during these possible trying times. So, ask yourself, how can you truly make each individual employee a priority? – Through conducting stay interviews.
Written by Nicole Ausherman, Digital Information Specialist - NIST MEP.
Women make up about 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce despite filling 47 percent of the positions in the overall workforce, according to the Manufacturing Institute. While there have been periods of growth and decline, the dynamic is mostly unchanged since 1970, when women held 27 percent of the manufacturing jobs.
IMEC is helping to bridge the manufacturing skills gap through an innovative new approach. The recently launched Skills Gap Analysis project is expected to help participating manufacturers plan their future workforce requirements and strengthen their communities. Recognizing the urgent need for a project like this in many Illinois manufacturers, IMEC’s president, Dr. David Boulay explains: “One of the biggest issues for managers in the manufacturing sector today is knowing what knowledge and skills workers will need beyond today’s work. We’ve seen the same series of events occur across many of our client companies: changing customer preferences lead to new products, which then leads to changing the way the work is done.”