by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 5 minutes  |  in Manufacturing   |  tagged , , , ,

As we hear often from our customers and our ecosystem, many manufacturing leaders still struggle with onboarding, managing, upskilling and retaining the talent that keeps those operations running every day.

Truly, the traditional factory training approach is inefficient, costly, and ineffective. This can lead to performance inconsistencies, safety risks, and skills gaps.

To add to this, manufacturing companies must also face supply chain shortages, sustainability pressures, ESG guidelines and operational efficiency issues—and underwriting this all is a lack of skilled and qualified talent on the shop floor.

Attrition rates are increasing, with an average staff turnover now up to 25% year on year. I write about broader strategies to attack attrition in my recent article on the Strategic Approach to Improving Worker Experience.

To keep up with talent shortages, manufacturers are often forced to retain low performers because there isn’t a strong talent pool.

The result? Rising recruitment and training costs, coupled with operational downtime and inefficiencies tied to the time and resources.

90% of learning happens informally

The 70:20:10 model for learning and development, is now widely accepted as the most progressive and valuable training and development model.

  • 70% of learning happens through on-the-job experience.
  • 20% of learning happens socially through colleagues and friends.
  • 10% of learning happens via formal training experiences.

That’s a whole 90% of informal learning that comes from experiential and social learning, where workers can tap into the tacit knowledge of fellow co-workers that no text book can supply.

If experiential and social learning aren’t a part of your training mix, then you’re missing a trick, or more to the point, you are missing the value of tapping into a new generation of powerful,  connected workforce solutions.

So let’s take it a level deeper, and think about how ‘attacking attrition’ actually gets done.

How can processes be automated?

What tools and technologies should underwrite this Strategic Approach for our connected workforce?

First, let’s meet the new connected frontline worker

Manufacturers cannot afford the risk of keeping workers that aren’t fully trained or certified on their shop floor. They now have a whole new set of tools to capture this tacit knowledge and create a culture of continuous improvement within the workforce—and to help them to onboard and upskill new talent efficiently, safely and quickly.

The Poka connected worker platform is helping manufacturers retain talent and diminish attrition rates. It supports several core principles:

  • In-line with providing workforce training & development, we must provide frontline workers with easy access to comprehensive safety checklists, reporting, reminders, and training—promoting a safer shop floor, and bridging the disconnect between the shop floor and top floor by providing leaders with real-time safety metrics straight from the shop floor.
  • To enhance safety measures, we must standardize safety expectations by improving worker knowledge and retention of critical safety requirements by providing one-point-lessons and video-based work instructions all at the tap of a button.
  • It must track and oversee safety certifications. Safety skills are automatically assigned and tracked in Poka software—this provides manufacturing leaders with greater, real-time visibility into training gaps which will assist with planning of future training programs.
  • It must ensure safety standards and requirements are implemented. Checklists are used by frontline workers to perform critical tasks, promote safety standards, and quickly identify, report and action any deviations. This is particularly relevant for manufacturers in highly regulated manufacturing sub-industries where the top floor must ensure that frontline workers operating certain assets are equipped with the necessary skillsets and qualifications.

Handing your workers a new lifeline

Handing each new worker a tablet, complete with the best-in-class connected worker platform, is akin to handing them a lifeline—supporting them to work independently and safely, while also driving paperless shop floor efficiencies.

Connected worker solutions can streamline onboarding and promote employee retention, empower frontline workers and provide them with the confidence and support to enable them to complete tasks to the highest quality, in the safest and most efficient way.

Putting the connected worker at the heart of shop floor operations

There is a new and empowered connected worker that manufacturers need to put at the heart of their talent retention KPIs. But they cannot do this without tools such as the Poka solution, now with Apple Vision Pro for a truly immersive experience, to assist with the worker onboarding and training, while empowering and supporting each connected worker on the shop floor to complete tasks safely, and efficiently.

With its tech-driven talent management solutions, Poka is helping make talent shortages a thing of the past for manufacturers around the world.

Case in point: Milwaukee Tools puts Poka to the test

When Milwaukee Tools identified a staff turnover of up to 70% in its Sun Prairie plant, Poka stepped in to implement connected worker software, hugely improving staff onboarding and learning & development, while driving essential shop-floor engagement among its workforce.

Poka was integral in this journey by assisting its 175+ users with onboarding processes, skills management, plant floor communication, plant level leadership development and information collection forms.

After 12 months of deploying Poka, Milwaukee saw its retention rate soar from 30% to 74%—with a further 250 more employees projected to be onboarded to meet company growth. By meeting key performance indicators of reducing new hire turnover and time taken in the onboarding process, Poka has cemented itself as an essential part of Milwaukee Tools’ integral processes.

Interested in just how in Poka does it, and how this could look for your operations? Please get in touch with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *