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Re-imagining workplace learning for the manufacturing industry

Re-imagining Workplace Learning For The Manufacturing Industry

Skill shortage in the manufacturing industry can lead to disastrous outcomes. There is no room for errors in this highly competitive industry. Mistakes from the frontline teams can sabotage the success and also hurt the profitability as well as the reputation of the company. Missing process steps, lack of product knowledge, inefficiency in setting up equipment, faulty machine operations etc., can lead to product defects and affect customer experience. 

Moreover, with advancements in Industry 4.0 technologies, the challenges have increased in the manufacturing industry. New technologies are emerging at a fast pace making existing skills obsolete. Poor onboarding and inadequate training have resulted in skill gaps and unsatisfying performances. 

Due to the added complexities of industry 4.0 cutting-edge technologies, companies need to rethink their learning strategies. Moreover, the elimination of dealers with the rise of D2C has changed the manufacturing market dynamics. The pressure has increased with the challenge to directly keep consumers happy and encourage repeat purchases. Developing a continuous culture of learning and development can help meet the expected quality standards and achieve manufacturing goals. 

Nearly 70% of manufacturers said they are creating or expanding training programs for their workforce.

The great resignation and the need for transforming workplace learning 

The mass exodus of frontline workers during “The Great Quit” has taken a toll on the manufacturing industry. The industry has experienced a shortage of hourly workers. Frontline employees are seeking new opportunities due to dissatisfaction at work. Most of them are finding it challenging to work with new technologies without ongoing training and development.  Mere in-person training wouldn’t suffice to survive the turnover tsunami. It is pivotal to tap into the digital learning space for training-in-the-flow-work. 

As per research, manufacturers are facing skill gaps that could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. 

So,  retaining a skilled workforce and upskilling them is even more critical. Nowadays, you have learning solutions that help you blend in-person or classroom training with online training. You will be able to address unique learning needs to increase productivity in your manufacturing unit. 

Workplace learning best practices of manufacturing industry 

Make your training and learning programs more agile, flexible and adaptable to ensure great performances from your manufacturing team. A little change in your learning and development approach can make a difference to your production and help you reach the set standards. 

Here are learning best practices to expand your frontline skill set: 

Focusing on onboarding for in-house workers 

Effective onboarding has a positive impact on employee experience and retention. Especially in the manufacturing sector, great onboarding is of paramount importance for health and safety factors. New hires are prone to high risk; they need to be guided from the very first day. Setting up a well-structured onboarding process can help in converting new hires into a skilled workforce. 

As per research, businesses with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%

An advanced skilling suite like Disprz can help you create an onboarding drip journey to successfully onboard your frontline. For instance, you can create a five days onboarding journey. So, on the first day, you can acquaint the new hire with the company, policies and norms. On the second day, share videos to give the new hire a virtual tour of the manufacturing unit and the processes. On day three, share brochures with details of the technology used in the manufacturing unit. On day four, share product documents. On day five, you can assign assessments to the new hire. 

The more streamlined your onboarding is the faster can the new hire adapt to the workplace environment and start delivering. A properly planned onboarding can help the new hire get to speed quickly. 

Switching between learning modules

Most manufacturing units are confined to on-the-job-training that limit learning for the frontline. It is crucial to explore various learning modules to help your frontline continuously grow and stay updated with the changing trends. 

Modern learning solutions offer many advanced features to switch between learning modules seamlessly. For instance, bring all your employees working in different manufacturing units on a single platform through live sessions for compliance training. Engage them by using gaming elements like roulette wheel or poll. You can assign courses in real-time through push-based learning. Some advanced learning software supports self-paced learning and even helps in personalising the learning journey. 

Studies show that 77% of learning and development professionals believe that personalised learning is critical to employee engagement. 

knowledge sharing and multilingual learning 

The manufacturing industry is witnessing high fluctuations in demands; especially after the Coronavirus Crisis.  Industrial policies are continuously changing post pandemic. So it is pivotal to have a common platform where the employees can share knowledge and learn from each other. Disprz, the complete skilling suite, offers a collaborative platform called Buzz for social learning. It serves as an ideal platform to post product updates, share industry news and keep the employees informed about any change in policies. 

Nowadays along with focusing on social learning, most manufacturers are tapping into regional languages for learning. Most of the frontline working in manufacturing units are not very fluent in a standard language like English. So the engagement level is low. By making learning available in the languages the frontline know, you increase the chances of course completion. One of India premium wine producers has also embraced multilingual learning for training their employees. They created courses in Marathi for their production factory worker in Nashik and experienced a high adoption rate. 

Conclusion 

Manufacturing is a competitive industry. To constantly win here, you need to upskill and reskill your frontline employees. Moreover manufacturing is adopting advanced technologies at an exponential rate to meet high demands and this should reflect in the organisations’ learning strategy as well. 

The production is dependent on the performance of the manufacturing team. So, continuously provide a learning opportunity to boost the overall growth of your employees. An end-to-end skilling solution like Disprz can be of great help here. The AI-powered tool helps in personalising content for addressing various learning requirements. From the classroom to self-paced learning, it provides various learning modules to train your employees successfully.  Moreover, through in-depth analytics, you can gauge the progress of your employee. See a preview to experience Disprz in action. 

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