Upskilling, sometimes also called microlearning, is an impactful way to enhance your blue collar business and to ensure the long-term success of your employees. It refers to changing issues around production and around management and leadership.
There is so much new technology that has come about in recent years and is continuing to develop. Upskilling allows you to teach your employees how to adjust, adapt and use the newest technology to better their work lives and performance. It also teaches your employees how to move into leadership roles that may not have been as necessary prior to technological advancements. Upskilling allows you to help your employees bridge the gap between technology and implementation. If you’re looking for tips on how to motivate blue collar workers, upskilling is a great method.
Blue-collar businesses will continue to adapt and adjust to new technology in areas surrounding how to use tools in production. Along with that, they must continue to facilitate growth in management as it relates to technology. They need to open opportunities for people to oversee systems, run reports, and ensure proper maintenance of any new tools.
As society continues to see record high job openings and employees leaving companies during this time of the “Great Resignation,” it’s key that business owners and leadership understand internal training. By teaching your employees upskilling, you’re teaching them how to create and instill the techniques employees need to feel successful and valuable, as well as how to think more critically about key issues going forward.
Times They Are A-Changing
In years past, many in the blue collar work industry only needed a solid foundation of work ethic and a healthy body to build a thriving career. Today, things are very different. Many of those from the Boomer era are retiring, and the new generation of those who could become blue collar workers are choosing white-collar jobs. Many of those in the new generation are shying away from blue collar jobs because of the reputation those jobs have for being so intensive in labor.
It’s important to adjust blue collar jobs so that they offer the opportunity for workers to grow, learn, and adapt. Blue collar workers must learn to work different systems and see issues before they happen, even in the most complex of manufacturing production environments.
This means that education doesn’t end when school or training ends. Instead, this means that today’s blue collar workers must still be willing to perform on the job physically, but also keep up with the trends in technology and management. They must accept that they will need additional training several times over throughout their career, in order to keep up with advancements in technology.
How to Upskill your Employees?
In addition to the obvious benefits and continual need to train your employees on issues related to safety and compliance, it’s important to teach them skills such as how to work together on a team, how to set both individual and team goals, and how to solve unexpected problems quickly and efficiently.
- Encourage goal setting. Establish targets for your company. Then, have individual employees set goals that support those targets. This not only gives each employee something to strive for but fosters the goodwill that comes from working together toward a common goal.
- Teach communication. No matter what your industry is, good communication is always needed. This can help avoid misunderstandings that could hurt your business outcomes and staff morale. Along with this, make sure to teach conflict resolution – how does a manager handle a conflict when it arises in the field or on the production line? It’s a rare dispute that can’t be defused through skilled and diplomatic negotiations. On the other hand, poor conflict resolution can lead to an explosive and toxic work culture.
- Build emotional intelligence. Some people innately have more emotional intelligence than others, but it can be developed. Emotional intelligence refers to being aware of your own internal response and managing your own emotions so that you can interact effectively with others, even in stressful situations. Knowing how to control your stress response can pay off in untold dividends down the road, both in keeping employees and customers long-term.
- Train for tech. Providing employees with the trainings they need to keep up with technology changes is imperative if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Maybe there’s a new industry app that employees need to use in the field. Or repairs that can be performed on your equipment in-house. Employees will appreciate expanding their skillset, and you’ll have a smarter, more capable workforce.
If you’re leading blue collar workers, you can’t afford to perpetuate static leadership. By continuing to help your employees grow in both technical skills and in emotional and leadership knowledge, you’re creating a true environment for success within a company. Your workers can be your greatest asset if you take the time to help them cultivate new skills.