Digitisation and the Employee Engagement App – A Multifaceted Business Imperative for the Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturers look to digital solutions, including an employee engagement app
Digitisation is a phenomenon that has been popularised with the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, particularly in the manufacturing industry. Promoted as a solution to operational efficiency, it places a spotlight on work processes with a view to decreasing process duration and dispensing with waste, while freeing up workers to tackle other tasks.
It’s a Numbers Game
It is estimated that digitisation in its various forms is projected to generate U$1.2 to U$3.7 trillion of value for manufacturing industries globally, by 2025. This value will occur in four primary forms:
1) Operational efficiency
2) Predictive and preventative maintenance
3) Supply chain management, and
4) Inventories and logistics
While these numbers are no doubt attractive to business leaders and investors, the potentially positive influence of digitisation on employee engagement is an often-underappreciated aspect. Companies often believe that the benefits of digitisation for employees are task enrichment and new skills development. This, however, is a rather limited perspective.
Digitisation offers a myriad of opportunities to optimise the work experience, and therefore employee engagement. This is particularly important in a global economy where approximately 25% of the manufacturing workforce is 55 years or older.
The Way Forward
Manufacturers therefore must consider not only ways to deal with an ageing workforce but also their external workforce strategy. This needs to be done in order to locate, attract, recruit, and inspire a generation of digital natives (millennials), who possess the future skills the manufacturing industry needs but are often attracted to other industries.
Additionally, manufacturers need to consider disparities in age, digital savvy, and readiness to change, when moving employees into the digital realm. It is also important to determine how to match the existing corporate culture with new digital era requirements – a well-thought-out strategy is therefore imperative.
At Wyzetalk we’ve assisted many clients to introduce a digital solution in the form of an employee engagement app in order to make the most of their workforce talent and prepare for tomorrow’s world of work.
Below we take a look at five areas where we have helped clients enable superior employee engagement via digitisation.
Companies are often intently focused on using technology to manage operational costs. When the advantages of technological innovation have been implemented in the workplace there is no reason that employees should be struggling with out-of-date paper-based systems when dealing with administrative tasks. Digitisation allows employees to have quick access to an array of administrative and human resources information thus making their work lives easier.
Would your crisis management team—and senior leadership—be prepared to respond if an emergency struck your manufacturing facility tomorrow? How successful would your crisis communications be in facilitating swift and efficient direction to employees on what to do and what to expect? An employee engagement app offers a solution to distributing timeous communication to employees in times of crisis.
Employees will be able to focus on value-adding work as a result of digitisation, which will minimise a portion of their routine work. To achieve this, employees will need to be digitally proficient. In some instances, digitisation can require more in-depth technical knowledge, which will see new job profiles emerge, which can be attractive career options for digital natives.
A poor safety culture can result in injuries, significant financial losses due to work stoppages, and even fatalities. An employee engagement app can assist in creating a strong safety culture by giving workers instant access to key safety information, protocols, and training. Additionally it can allow them to register events and hazards, track their own safety statistics, and incentivise them to adopt safe behaviours.
Manufacturers using digitised training tools can reduce training time by as much as 75%. In an industry where factories run on specialised skill sets that can take years to master this can offer an important advantage in a competitive market. Multimedia learning material can also be adapted to allow learning on the go and enable employees to provide feedback on the quality of their learning experience.
The future of manufacturing will demand dynamic and adaptable approaches to employee engagement by companies. Manufacturers need to rethink their employee training and recruitment drives with a view to not only leveraging technology for the current benefits it can offer but also positioning their organisations as welcoming to digital natives. In this way, they can get a head start on their competitors by grasping – and profiting from – the power of digitisation.