Industrial workforce issues must be addressed head on and right now. Here are three simple solutions that focus on technology and innovation to not only attract the next generation of industrial manufacturing talent, but also to retain it.
Bridging the skills gap while attracting and retaining young talent is not a new conversation. However, it’s one that continues to evolve as new technologies and innovations are adopted.
As industry leaders continue to tackle the challenges, more ideas and concepts will surface. The effort requires a mindset shift on our part as we embrace what a young sustainable workforce looks like moving forward.
Ways to Bridge the Talent Gap with Innovation
In a recent article published by Empowering Pumps & Equipment, ShelfAware CEO Andrew Johnson addresses this issue in great detail and considers who technology and innovation will help to attract the next generation of pump industry workforce.
In the article, he shares three ways that manufacturers and industrial companies and close the skills gap with innovation.
Bridge the gap with tech-forward tools and innovation.
Getting the new talent in the door is one thing. Retaining that talent is another issue. The younger generation has grown up with a cell phone in their pocket, a tablet in their hand, and a computer on their lap. They are already using technology to solve problems and bridge the obvious gaps. As an industry, we should embrace this and use it to pad the workforce with tech-savvy professionals willing to give new innovation a try.
Adopt an apprenticeship model to bridge the tribal knowledge of the seasoned professionals with the newer generation of tech-forward expertise.
An apprenticeship is an old-school concept that tech-savvy leaders tend to overlook. However, the stone-mason, old-school type apprenticeship model is something to seriously consider. European manufacturers have a very successful model in which young people interested in engineering, operations, maintenance, and the highly-skilled trades (like welding, for example) are given paid apprenticeships to learn with on-the-job training. At the end of the apprenticeship, they are guaranteed a high paying job to work for the company that trained them.
Apprenticeships can be a win-win for multiple generations. Apprentices want the opportunity to lead, and masters want more time as they approach retirement. Apprentices can work with mentors to help them become more productive by using technology. To effectively accomplish this requires money, time, and compensation shifts as the apprentices begin to carry a heavier load.
Make pumps sexy with a shift in culture.
When competing with companies that make video games and rocket ships, it’s important to find a way to make pumps sexy—particularly with the next generation of talent.
The newer generation is looking for things like flexible work schedules, travel opportunities, cool and creative work environments, fancy coffee machines, comfortable lounges, and even high-tech toys like interactive touch-screen white boards. In some cases, work-place culture and collaborative technology tools are more important than salary to members of the younger generation.
If companies provide the space to creatively work, the young minds will eventually provide the innovation. This generation sees the industry differently and can look at problems through a different lens—one that is centered around technology and creative problem solving.
Are You Ready to Incorporate Technology Into Your Supply Chain?
Digitizing inventory doesn’t have to be an expensive or overwhelming task. In fact, with a platform like ShelfAware, suppliers and consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, make more money with less worries, and eliminate stockouts with an easy-to-manage, cloud-based digital vender management inventory system.
Try a digital VMI platform like ShelfAware for a sustainable solution to supply chain management.
Want to learn more about an affordable way to automate your supply chain? Request your free ShelfAware demo.
Too good to be true? ShelfAware is redefining the vendor-managed inventory industry. For this reason, we’re happy to talk to you about how our intelligent inventory platform can benefit your business. Contact us today for more information.