Today’s manufacturing employees are missing vital skills. Due to the skills gap in the U.S. manufacturing industry, over 80 percent of manufacturers are having difficulty finding qualified talent to hire, according to Deloitte.¹
A career in manufacturing is more complex than it used to be. Today, there are “fewer (manufacturing) employees on more teams, using more technology to make crucial decisions more quickly,” per Talent Lens.²
To succeed in the fast-paced manufacturing industry, employees need a diverse, specific set of skills.
Vital Skills Manufacturing Employees Need
AI and other technological advances have changed the manufacturing industry as well as the type of skills the average manufacturing employee needs. Hiring Manufacturing Staff in the 21st Century: a Fundamental Shift in Skills³ stated,
“While technology has created many processes and efficiencies, skilled workers are in demand in large numbers, and entry-level or less-skilled job seekers are finding fewer opportunities in such areas as assembly, logistics, maintenance, and production support.”
This source noted that most manufacturing employees should be able to:
- Rotate and share jobs with peers
- Make decisions independently
- Communicate effectively
- Serve customers
- Work effectively as part of a team
Additionally, possessing a basic set of computer, IT, and technical skills is critical for manufacturing employees. A learning management system can help workers attain these skills, as well as those mentioned above.
3 Ways an LMS Equips Manufacturing Employees with Key Skills
Here are a few way a learning management system helps manufacturing staff learn the skills they need for success:
1. An LMS trains employees across a wide variety of topics -- An eLearning platform gives employers the content creation tools they need to craft online courses pertaining to just about any subject or skill. It also gives workers instant access to the wide spectrum of training courses available to them. Online courses can be accessed via mobile device, on the job, in real time, and on demand.
Manufacturers can shape workers’ learning experiences by creating individualized learning paths after assessing current skills gaps. For example, assembly line workers need skills such as communication and product knowledge. They should also have an understanding of quality control principles. Administrators can create learning paths that include eLearning courses in these subjects, as well as an online knowledge hub that can be quickly accessed by workers as well as easily revised to include the most up-to-date policies and procedures.
2. An LMS helps share knowledge from seasoned employees -- About 900 manufacturing workers will retire daily for the next 19 years, per Training Industry.4 Many individuals on the brink of retirement can be considered subject matter experts who possess the skills newer workers lack. Employers can use an LMS to pass their knowledge on to others.
“Identify the people who’ve had crucial roles in developing your manufacturing processes. Think about how you can capture and communicate their knowledge. Try to involve them in the transfer of that knowledge to incoming generations and upskilled workers,” stated a contributor to Roundtable Learning.5
Including on-staff SMEs in the creation of manufacturer training is a valuable way to preserve their knowledge and upskill current and future employees.
3. An LMS helps employers locate skills gaps and adjust training accordingly -- Locating skills gaps is an important step in upskilling manufacturing employees. You should start creating your content with using educated assumptions of what skills your employees lack, but an LMS can confirm or disprove those assumptions with LMS reporting and analytics.
LMS reporting increases visibility of metrics, helping employers confirm the skills gaps they thought were present as well as locate other knowledge gaps. Reporting on course completion and quiz pass/fail rates can also help employers understand how to mold training to meet the needs of workers. Reporting and analytics make it clear whether or not current training is getting results and ensures administrators obtain a good ROI for training.
How Is Your Company Upskilling Manufacturing Staff?
Manufacturing is not a simple industry to work in. To be successful, staff should possess a robust skill set. A number of critical skills can be transferred to employees with a learning management system. If you’re struggling to find qualified talent right out of the gate, it may be time to develop an in-house training program.
An LMS can help you develop the right manufacturing employee training program for your business, customizing content for your needs to ensure employees learn the skills needed to improve performance. Find out how to locate an effective LMS for the manufacturing industry here.
1Deloitte. The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing: 2015 and beyond. http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/~/media/827DBC76533942679A15EF7067A704CD.ashx.
2,3Talent Lens. Hiring manufacturing staff in the 21st Century. A fundamental shift in skills. https://us.talentlens.com/wp-content/uploads/TalentLens-Manufacturing-Shift-In-Skills.pdf.
4Training Industry. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Redesigning training for the manufacturing industry. https://trainingindustry.com/articles/workforce-development/can-you-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks-redesigning-training-for-the-manufacturing-industry/.
5Roundtable Learning. Addressing the unique training needs of the manufacturing industry. https://www.roundtablelearning.com/2017/10/25/addressing-the-unique-training-needs-of-the-manufacturing-industry/.