In the previous article of the ‘Fit for the Future’ series we looked at how to ensure business continuity in the face of system failure or ransomware attack. In this article, we cover the subject of ‘workforce retention’ and look at how to retain the knowledge, skill and best practice developed by your employees.
In every workplace there is always a select few with in-depth knowledge and ‘tricks of the trade’ which allow them to be more efficient and productive. If a piece of machinery breaks down, will simply pulling out the manual tell you how to fix it? Equipment can sometimes have its own personality, and it takes an experienced operator to know all of the quirks of a given piece of equipment.
As these individuals leave the business through retirement, so often does a wealth of intricate knowledge. And in their place comes a much younger generation – tech savvy, highly engaged and looking for the best opportunities available to them. Two problems present themselves at once. Firstly, how can you best retain and transfer knowledge from your experienced personnel? And secondly, how can you attract, train, and retain high-calibre talent?
This is where modern tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) can really help. What may still look like science fiction is very much a real and tangible training and worker retention solution. Head mounted displays (HMDs) display realistic, three-dimensional instructions overlaid on the actual working space. Enabling data, instructions, and information to be placed on physical objects, such as step-by-step instructions showing how to remove a component how to remove a locking wheel nut or the current status of oil pressure in a given piece of equipment.
How can AR help you in your workforce retention and retain knowledge from your existing workforce? By consolidating a fully rounded training package in AR, training can become faster, dynamic and more cost effective. Once an AR training solution is created, it can be deployed time and again at no additional cost with the added benefit of suiting the workflows to which younger people have grown accustomed. Legacy systems and aging factories are increasingly becoming an alien environment for young, high-calibre team members, and in turn attracting them becomes a challenge.
This forward-thinking investment is a central theme of the ‘Fit of the Future’ series. Investing in the steps outlined in the series will put your business in the position to reap the rewards in the years to come. While not everything has to be done at once, considering your current circumstance and identifying where outcomes can be improved is key.
Providing quality training packages geared for the next generation, whilst retaining and passing on the knowledge of your experienced workforce is just another step towards improved fitness. While the digital world may seem far away in a factory using legacy equipment, this modern approach is pervasive in the world of your younger employees. Moving with these times can allow you to get the most out of these new hires and keep them engaged as your business grows.