In celebration of the approaching new year, let’s take a look at the non-technology trends that will follow the industry into 2018. Manufacturers are beginning to become much more modern, not only in terms of the technology they use but the way they view their business as a whole. From innovative ways to bridge the skills gap to a renewed sense of company culture, these businesses are taking the right steps to address the past shortcomings of the industry.
The skills gap has plagued the manufacturing industry for years. Students are being guided away from a career in the industry and this is not only holding back manufacturers from finding talented individuals but it’s hurting those students looking for a job after school. With over 3 million manufacturing positions expected to be needed over the next decade, nearly 2 million could go unfilled.
The manufacturing industry has realized what kind of problem this could cause and are taking steps to address this concerning issue. Businesses are beginning to reach out to the community and open their doors to show what the modern manufacturing industry has become. The industry has struggled with its negative stigma for many years and inviting people into their facilities helps show how far these facilities have come. From the old days of being a dark, dirty and dangerous industry to today’s modern manufacturing facility comprised of innovative technology and a focus on safety, the industry is working vigorously to show how manufacturing can be a fantastic career choice.
2) Workplace Safety
Quickly fading into history are the days where manufacturers held productivity as a priority over the safety of their workforce. Businesses have done the math and taken a hard look at their enterprise, only to realize that a safe facility is a profitable facility. The cost of an injured employee far outweighs any costs associated with creating a safer shop floor.
Manufacturing businesses have put a renewed emphasis on safety throughout all facets of the manufacturing operation. This is beginning to not only benefit the employees that are being kept safer, it’s actually having a large impact on manufacturers bottom line. When individuals feel as though their employer cares about their well-being, they are much more willing to go above and beyond for that business. Company culture is playing a large role in this transformation with management ensuring proper safety equipment and training is made available. This is going a long way toward making manufacturing a more attractive career choice while at the same time ensuring employees remain healthy and able to work.
3) Company Culture
Manufacturers have realized that their company culture can determine whether or not people want to work for their organization. Understanding the concept and putting the time in to address and adjust the company culture can go a long way toward making them stand out among other businesses. The environment a business cultivates can go a long way toward creating a better running, safer and more productive manufacturing business.
Business leaders are taking a close look at the way their facility operates to ensure employees represent their businesses values. For example, when it comes to safety, if employees have been putting aside safety procedures to accomplish their task in less time and management would rather an employee remain safe, these kinds of issues need to be addressed and then passed down to new employees. This doesn’t just need to be about safety, getting involved with the community to show that manufacturing isn’t a scary or dangerous profession begins with management but must be passed on to the workforce as well. Addressing the issues in company culture is beginning to become a primary focus for manufacturers in 2018.
4) Leadership Gap
Manufacturing businesses are beginning to realize there is a severe leadership gap within their organizations. Older manufacturers are retiring and there are fewer new employees willing or able to take over their roles. With all this industry knowledge leaving the business, there are fewer qualified individuals to take on leadership roles. With this issue becoming more common, manufacturers are putting their heads together to solve this troublesome issue.
Businesses are now taking it upon themselves to ensure future manufacturers leaders are ready to step up to the plate when baby boomers retire. Working toward creating leadership and mentoring programs is high on modern manufacturers lists in 2018. A focus on preparing the workforce for leadership positions will be vital as manufacturing moves forward.
As the industry moves into the new year, be sure to keep checking back on Manufacturing Talk Radio for the latest developments to stay ahead of the fast moving manufacturing industry.