In today’s manufacturing world, if your business isn’t constantly learning, it risks falling behind. Your most valuable asset is your employees, so training new employees for their development is key for the future of your business.
Increased productivity: Providing your employees with guidance, easy-to-follow instructions, and resources will enable your workforce productivity to soar.
Increased employee retention: When employees feel like you have invested in them, they will stay for longer and work harder. Proper training creates a workplace that attracts and retains new talent.
Reduced supervision: If new employees are trained properly, you can reduce the length of time which staff need to be supervised, which requires extra unnecessary manpower.
Keep up to date with new technologies: Ensuring your employees are confident with emerging technologies will enable you to remain competitive.
Improve workplace safety: New employees who have undergone effective training are more likely to follow safety protocols with a likely result of reducing workplace injuries. This protects both the employees and you from litigation or any form of legal action.
Consistency of training materials is key in any industry, but especially so in manufacturing. While training new employees, it is essential that any training programs are up-to-date and follow the exact same formulas and protocols. This ensures consistency across your whole organization, making it easier for you to schedule your production and ensure the timely delivery of projects.
It’s important that you’re constantly evaluating your own training methods. Ask your employees to give feedback on their training programs. This will allow you to tap into their interests and preferred learning methods. This will also make sure your employees feel valued and can provide improvement suggestions that you may not have thought of.
Hands-on training has been shown to be the most effective form of training. Translating information from manuals and PowerPoint presentations can be difficult. Hands-on training has been shown to improve knowledge retention.
With the looming skills gap facing the industry, it’s more important than ever that older, more experienced workers can share their knowledge with the new generation. Effective and proactive mentorship can achieve that while socially connecting and engaging your workforce.
Augmented reality (AR) enables an interactive training experience that combines the real world with digital content. Augmented reality can be used to provide context to training situations and enable just-in-time learning. By using AR-enabled headsets or mobile devices, new employees can gain contextual information on the real world in front of them without disrupting the training experience.
The looming skills gap in the industry means that manufacturers will have to adjust to training a whole new generation. The more digitally native millennial and Gen-Y generations will naturally expect to be trained using new, innovative technologies. By putting contextual training information in front of an employee’s field of view, your training procedures become more meaningful and easier to retain. This will help to onboard employees faster and more effectively. AR can also help workers to minimize the number of errors they make during the training, as digital work instructions are more thorough and instructive. This not only keeps your workers safe but will also minimize costly machine downtime.
Digital work instructions can be easily edited themselves and can be made from the cloud, allowing your trainees to be updated as soon as there are new work priorities or manufacturing processes. This means you can have up-to-date, standardized work instructions across your plants without the need for new manuals or PowerPoints. Augmented reality is the future of employee onboarding. It can help to drive down your long-term costs, improve safety and efficiency, and can help to retain and motivate the new generation of manufacturing workers.
Leah Gourley is a Digital Content Marketing Specialist based out of PTC's Boston office. She enjoys creating and sharing content surrounding the latest technologies that are transforming industries, including augmented reality and the industrial internet of things.