Author: Tronserve admin
Tuesday 3rd August 2021 09:47 AM
As Manufacturing Goes Digital, Employees Become Our Biggest Advantage
The future of modern manufacturing depends on more than next-generation technologies to improve the factory floor. Engaging and empowering the next-generation workforce is the main key to undergoing a successful digital transformation, and it starts with rethinking underlying business processes and human resources (HR) policies.
The workforce is an essential part of the digital transformation, not merely a beneficiary of it. Manufacturers can digitize their plants with all the technology they like, but unless business leaders think about the expectations and needs of employees - both hourly and salaried - as part of a holistic digital transformation strategy, manufacturers may find their workforce uninspired and unprepared to drive innovation and bring the business results they expect.
It is necessary for manufacturers to comprehend the dual-importance of promoting a tech-friendly work environment and investing in their people resources. For instance, a recent survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos reveals there is an undeniable demand from the workforce for technology to improve daily tasks like scheduling and shift swapping. Approximately half (47 percent) of employees have had a time-off request disapproved by their employer within the last year, with manufacturers typically rejecting vacation requests. At the same time, an astounding 90 percent of employees worldwide think their organization can improve scheduling - which would inherently result the work-life balance of the impacted workforce.
By including HR in upfront discussions about their organization’s digital transformation, manufacturers will likely have a greater sense of what the future of work entails, and what must be done to offer a modern and engaging employee experience as the foundation for a successful digital transformation.
Understanding Employees’ Workplace Expectations
Workplace technology was once far more innovative and better than anything that was available for consumer use, but the reverse is true today: very near to half of manufacturing employees (49 percent) agree it is easier to search for new movies on Netflix than to check the details of their employee benefits, according to another recent survey by The Workforce Institute. Just about half of employees (48 percent) desire their workplace technology performed just like their personal technology, and 35 percent (and 39 percent of Gen Z employees) consider their job is harder than it should be because of outdated processes and legacy technology.
Upset with how long it takes managers to grant time-off and schedule requests, more than one fourth of employees (28 percent) wish their organization would embrace self-scheduling, letting them to build their own schedules or select preferred shifts that make it easier to manage personal responsibilities outside of work. In general, employees want solutions that make it easier to work their way: swapping shifts, seeking coverage from colleagues, and opting into open shifts for more hours- especially via a mobile phone or tablet.
In the age of digitization, manufacturers that provide employees with responsive solutions that match the ease of use and real-time nature of the applications they use in their personal lives can build an engaging employee experience and help their efforts to recruit and retain talent - which remains a top priority across the industry. However,, if manufacturers neglect to prioritise the needs of their workforce while undergoing a digital transformation, meeting the expectations of employees will become increasingly difficult.
Including HR in the Transformation Conversation
Largely, employees want to do well by their employer, and vice versa. Nonetheless, without ample communication with stakeholders across the organization, it could be easy for organizations to undermine their own employee experience with antiquated attitudes about workforce management and HR processes.
When doing digital transformation, manufacturers should consider the technological and people-centric upgrades that will help the workforce to operate at full capacity. This might possibly include real-time labor analytics to greatly help managers make informed operational decisions; intelligent self-scheduling and shift-swapping technology; and real-time performance data that can help managers have constructive conversations and provide transparency to employees about what is needed of them to advance in the organization.
Involving HR throughout the digital transformation will help to ensure that manufacturers’ most valuable resource—their people—remains a top priority throughout the process. All in all, digital transitions that emphasize a positive employee workplace experience are one of the most essential differentiators for recruiting and retaining top talent.
Employee-centric solutions powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning are not merely transforming the future of smart factories—they’re making great steps in engaging employees as a core component of business success from the outset. By investing in the workforce today, organizations can begin to basically enhance engagement and drive productivity, both of which are essential parts of any manufacturer’s digital transformation.
This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net