Gen Z may just be the answer to the manufacturing industry’s skilled trade shortage. According to a recent study by Leading2Lean, one third of this generation, which ranges from 18-22 years old, has had manufacturing suggested as a career option. That number was only one in five for Millennials. The study also suggested that Gen Z is intrigued by careers in manufacturing. They are more likely to consider working in it and less likely to view it as a declining industry. Here’s a quick look at five reasons manufacturing jobs are becoming more appealing to this generation and what you can do to ensure you are attracting this group of new collar workers.
Industry experts report that addressing data security issues will supersede innovation and other opportunities to ensure growth and confidence in all things IoT. That’s because potential risks are increasing as companies make investments in hard-to-resist technology that is designed to make work more streamlined and productive.
How workforce intelligence software can impact today’s top HR challenges
By Adam Chose
It’s not surprising that the top two HR issues most critical to organizations are employee engagement and retention. Yet studies abound with proof that investing even 1 percent of payroll into improving the employee experience and measuring its results can have a long-lasting ripple effect on employee retention and happiness on the job. Gallup polled more than a million employees and those that worked with highly engaged organizations reported less absences and less turnover.
Research shows that strong worker communities within organizations deliver stronger workplaces with less waste, higher quality and better safety
By Adam Chose
Employee engagement has undoubtedly been a hot topic in recent months. As we head into the new year, it will certainly remain a key focus as companies look to adopt new technologies and management strategies to drive not only a culture, but a community of high performance. In other words - a highly engaged workplace.
While companies may be investing heavily in worker engagement programs, according to Harvard Business Review those seeing real change are going beyond the typical employee engagement surveys and driving worker engagement at all levels through more consistent touch points. They are focused on long term worker-powered strategies and experiences designed to drive retention and increase satisfaction. Simply put, having an environment that truly invests in its workers so that they are motivated and engaged results in innumerable benefits not just for employees but for the employer as well.
Augmented Reality Takes Center Stage
Several in the manufacturing industry have begun exploring the benefits of augmented reality in the workplace. While it may sound like something you would hear about in the next installment of The Matrix, AR basically gives manufacturers and those in the construction industry an opportunity to superimpose computer-generated, composite views on top of real products, parts or machinery through sophisticated wearables or right from a smart phone or tablet.
Smart PPE and AI Combine to Enhance Worker Safety
The Smart PPE industry is experiencing massive growth as many companies hunt for ways to create a more sophisticated work experience that enables increased productivity and safety. In fact, a survey of environmental, health and safety directors representing over two dozen countries and 25 industries in 2018 indicated that the PPE market will continue making headway in the next five years with many increasing budgets as new products become available. The market was already at more than $47 billion in 2018.
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Much of this growth will come in the way of smart technology and artificial intelligence and its integration into work wearables and PPE. It’s a natural progression that offers a number of benefits and in the realm of safety, a huge upside. Here are five areas of opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
In discussions that examine trends in technology and manufacturing regarding the next generation of workers and the evolution of the roles they're hired to fill, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has coined a new term -"new collar jobs." New collar workers are people who develop the technical and soft skills needed to work in increasingly "smarter" industries through nontraditional education paths. Typically they can to adapt quickly and easily to changing roles based on advancements in technology. Ideally, workers in new collar roles are trained in advanced technologies like cybersecurity, data science and artificial intelligence.
The fact that these new collar workers are expected to be flexible as the employment landscape changes isn't the only thing that's unique about them when compared to workers of previous generations. Many new collar workers are the attend vocational schools, or perhaps have some kind of focused associate's degree in terms of higher education. Less emphasis is placed on achieving a bachelor's degree. Instead practical skills are prized above all else, prioritizing vocational training over a traditional four-year degree.
The Trifecta of a Lean Workplace
If you were to have a discussion about the ideal workplace, the conversation wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the role lean manufacturing, quality and safety would play. Some industry executives may even use these words interchangeably. Yet, the reality is they each have a very specific function and ultimately should be combined into an overarching operations strategy for optimum results.
Let’s start with ‘lean’ since it is the most comprehensive initiative of the three and since the words lean manufacturing are buzzwords tossed around the industry like the waste it aims to eliminate. Its entire focus is on improving efficiency and effectiveness by reducing waste. This management practice is implemented by companies looking to dispose of anything that doesn’t add value, which means any activity or manufacturing material that creates inefficiencies. Check out one of our latest blogs on the biggest offenders and the best ways to address them. The reason lean is referred to as a practice is because it is focused on the entire value chain and not just various points in the production process. It extends beyond improving quality to developing a worker-powered culture committed to continuous improvement. Adopting a lean philosophy and culture leads to production, cost, quality and service improvements.
Want to learn how Corvex can help boost engagement and productivity at the same time? See the Corvex platform in action here.
Engaging Workers Will Improve Quality and Your Bottomline
We’ve heard and seen it time and again. Nothing can stifle a company’s quality faster than a disengaged workforce. Even if you have all the appropriate processes in place but leadership hasn’t created a true culture of quality, where workers feel empowered and engaged, all efforts seem to fall short. Here are three key facets focused on how you can increase quality in the workplace by engaging your workforce.
1. Have Dedicated Quality Professionals Most equate quality to delivering great products, free from defects. That sounds simple but, when you peel back the layers of an organization, it becomes clear that true quality is impacted when you add the ever so important human element into the mix.
These days, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are not only the buzziest of buzzwords, but they are also all around us — affecting our lives in a myriad of ways by leveraging technology to learn about its users and respond using data collection and mapping. From the simple use of advertisements that can be served to individuals based on interests or browse behavior, to the complex infrastructures of GPS applications like Waze, the implications of smart technology that influence user behavior are endless.