There is a misconception that as a result of life expectancy rates increasing significantly that there will be a larger number of people working for longer. However, this is not the case!
Many people are enjoying an earlier retirement and with decreasing birth rates in developed countries there are less people entering the workforce.
In particular, industries such as manufacturing and supply chain have been suffering from skills gaps as experienced workers are retiring, there are fewer people to replace them.
Statistics from the US have shown that almost a quarter of manufacturing workers are over 55 years old
As they are getting closer to retirement the knowledge, they have gained over the decades might be harder to transfer over to new employees.
In addition to this, younger generations of workers have a tendency to ‘job hop’ far more regularly than previous workforce generations. Nowadays the younger workforce needs to feel appreciated and motivated at work, the emphasis on the monetary side of things is becoming less valuable.
This makes it harder for manufacturing and supply chain industries to appeal to new-job seekers as their perception may be outdated and they are not keeping on top with modern technology.
As a result of these obstacles the business will endure higher training costs, lack of employee morale and negative effects on production quality.
However, there are ways to overcome these issues that your business can follow, these revolve around bringing modern technologies into your business:
Implementing modern technologies is the most powerful way to combat the ageing workforce challenge. Adopting innovative technology such as investing in a Connected Workforce platform and digitising your work processes such as work instructions, SOPs, checklists etc. will contribute to overcoming this challenge.
If your business is still using complex manuals, paper-based SOP’s, and training documents then you need a system which will digitise these and make them user friendly and easy to understand for your new workforce. It is essential to have a platform where you can store and maintain records of daily operations, but also update and improve on them when something new comes along.
Capturing and storing knowledge is important however getting employees to engage with the content will be imperative to its success. New workers will be motivated to learn more via images, animations, or videos rather than complex paper manuals. Digital training solutions utilizing mobile devices and modern technologies can help attract the generation that grew up with it.
Encourage collaboration among your team and enable them to work more productively. New employees who can share ideas and thoughts for the business via a platform where they can see the acknowledgement and process of their idea is invaluable to their personal development in their role. Empower workers to share expertise in real time and improve your operations.