Industry News
7 min read

How Connected Worker Solutions Combat Worker Shortages

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The manufacturing sector has always played a crucial role in the economy.

But our industry has been grappling with a notable shortage of labor in recent years. 

This scarcity of skilled workers is a pressing concern for industry leaders, who recognize the potential consequences on production levels and overall economic growth.

Deloitte’s research has shown that the manufacturing industry is expected to face a staggering shortfall of millions of jobs in the next seven years, so the impact of this labor shortage cannot be understated.

Can technology alone solve these workforce challenges?

Based on our experience, beginning with technology alone is not the most effective approach.

The manufacturing companies that achieve long term success prioritize people as their starting point, with technology playing a supporting role in their operations.

The good news, pairing the right solution with the right process and people is what can help manufacturing companies streamline operations and achieve productivity gains, particularly during economic downturns. 

Verdantix, a leading research firm focused on operational excellence programs at manufacturing companies around the world, recently published their Operational Excellence Global Corporate Survey. Several key takeaways are worth noting, as it relates to worker shortages and technology you use every day.

Below, we will break down key metrics, along with their applicability to enterprise level manufacturing at your organization. We’ll also share use cases from our customers so you can see these principles put into action!

97% companies mentioned connected worker solutions as being significant in improving worker retention

This statistic highlights the critical role that connected worker solutions play in enhancing worker retention within manufacturing companies. By providing employees with easy access to standardized processes, relevant training materials, and real-time guidance, connected worker solutions create a more engaging and fulfilling work environment. 

Improved worker retention not only reduces turnover costs but also fosters a knowledgeable and experienced workforce, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Dozuki worked with a paperboard manufacturing company that had a high turnover rate and negative exit interview data. This prompted the need for an effective onboarding and training program to retain employees and restore their reputation as a top talent magnet. 

With 94% of employees leaving within a year, it was evident that their current outdated training program was contributing to the problem. By implementing a successful onboarding program, the company aimed to reduce turnover and establish a culture of loyalty and long-term commitment.

The Training Coordinator revealed a concerning fact, stating that the top thirty employees with the most experience, totaling over 1,000 years, would be retiring within the next three years. This imminent loss of knowledge compelled the company to seek a digital solution that could help reverse this trend and provide them with a competitive advantage.

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89% mentioned connected worker solutions as being significant for solving the low availability of skilled workers.

Verdantix’s study also showed that the shortage of skilled workers is a persistent challenge in the manufacturing industry. This statistic underscores the value of connected worker solutions in addressing this issue. 

By leveraging technology to capture and disseminate knowledge, these solutions enable companies to bridge the skills gap and enhance the capabilities of their workforce. Connected worker solutions empower existing employees to upskill and adapt to new technologies while also facilitating the onboarding of new hires, thereby mitigating the impact of low availability of skilled workers.

Dozuki works with a chemical company that struggled with this very issue, and their feedback on using connected worker solutions championed the photos feature. When it comes to process  documentation, visuals are a key lever for upskilling new workers. 

Here’s what we learned in our work with their frontline team.

For new employees who haven't operated the machine before, they often struggle to interpret the work instructions without visual references. 

However, with the inclusion of photos in the writing process, they are now becoming more engaged and enthusiastic. Witnessing this level of excitement towards document creation is a refreshing change for us.

If you have a low skilled workforce you want to elevate, learn more about building a skill pipeline inside your company.

79% stated connected worker solutions help combat knowledge loss a from retiring workforce.

One final statistic from the study shows that as experienced employees retire, manufacturing companies face the risk of losing critical institutional knowledge. This number emphasizes the importance of connected worker solutions in combating knowledge loss. 

By centralizing and digitizing process documentation, training materials, and best practices, these solutions ensure that valuable knowledge is preserved and easily accessible to both current and future employees. 

Connected worker solutions facilitate knowledge transfer, enable consistent training, and reduce reliance on tribal knowledge, thereby safeguarding the company's intellectual capital and minimizing disruptions caused by workforce transitions.

While working with a leading construction manufacturer, Dozuki saved jobs by improving training effectiveness through video tutorials, ensuring employees performed their work at the proper rate, eliminating the reliance on ineffective Excel documentation. 

After a successful pilot at one facility, Dozuki became the guiding light for implementation across multiple locations. By leveraging our digital transformation services, the customer quickly created and deployed comprehensive standards, filling the gaps in their documentation and providing employees with easily understandable digital resources.

In summary:

Connected worker solutions are highly regarded by companies, with 97% recognizing their significance in improving worker retention, 89% acknowledging their role in addressing the shortage of skilled workers, and 79% emphasizing their ability to combat knowledge loss from retiring employees. 

These statistics highlight the value and effectiveness of connected worker solutions in enhancing workforce stability, addressing skill gaps, and preserving valuable institutional knowledge.

As we navigate the challenges of an evolving manufacturing landscape, the shortage of skilled labor continues to be a pressing issue. Recognizing the potential impact on production levels and economic growth, industry leaders are actively seeking solutions to address this labor scarcity.

Together, we can forge a path forward and build a resilient manufacturing sector that thrives in the face of challenges.

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Topic(s): Industry News , Featured
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Written by Scott Ginsberg

Scott is the Content Marketing Manager at Dozuki. He’s spent 20+ years writing books about wearing nametags, conducting corporate training seminars on approachability, and leading knowledge management programs at tech startups. Text him right now at 314.374.3397 with your favorite emoji.

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