These are tough days for manufacturers.
On top of the ever-present pressure to manage cost, quality, and efficiency, the business environment is piling on other challenges, like inflationary pricing, a tight labor market, and supply-chain disruptions.
How can you improve productivity in such a pressure cooker?
One of the best ways to address these manufacturing challenges is to keep your workforce up-to-date on the latest knowledge, methods, and processes of your industry.
Well-trained employees produce better work, with fewer errors, more efficiently. As a result, your team is better equipped to adapt and innovate, whatever your circumstances.
That’s why forward-thinking business leaders like you are investing in a learning management system (LMS). An LMS helps you streamline, automate, and manage your Learning & Development (L&D) activities from one central location, whether they be instructor-led classes, webinars, training in the field, online courses, or any other program of instruction.
If you’re not familiar with what an LMS can do for your productivity, consider how the right LMS can empower you to do the following.
1. Train employees cost-efficiently
Being cost-efficient begins first with the management of your entire L&D program. The automation features of the right LMS enable your L&D staff to easily manage/automate tasks like registration, scheduling, attendance, testing, compliance, performance tracking, and more. These efficiencies relieve your team of numerous, time-intensive, administrative tasks.
Moreover, a cloud-based LMS enables your team to access training at any time, from any Internet-connected device. So, employees equipped with computers can train without leaving their workstations, as would be the case with traditional in-class training. Furthermore, production doesn’t have to stop completely if you schedule the training appropriately.
2. Standardize and facilitate your onboarding
You may have new employees starting out in different offices and time zones. Or, due to some big contract, you have to onboard hundreds of them. How can you ensure they all get introduced to your culture in a homogenous way, so everyone’s reading from the same playbook?
With the right LMS, your new employees can receive an identical introduction to your culture, policies, and ways of doing, anywhere your people are, on any device.
These training activities can be built with multiple steps, barriers, exams, and so on to create a structured syllabus. Furthermore, you can award badges and certificates to acknowledge their understanding of a specific topic.
3. Simplify compliance and recertification
For manufacturers, compliance is inescapable.
You need to ensure that some, if not all, members of your team comply with the regulatory, health and safety, or performance standards set by your industry or jurisdiction.
These requirements are specific and often complex. Not complying with them can incur business and legal risks relating to product quality, warranties, returns, or even potentially lethal circumstances involving the health and safety of workers.
Clearly, it’s essential to keep your people up to speed on compliance requirements. A modern LMS simplifies compliance. For example, through a validation feature, you can automatically evaluate a member’s prerequisites and eligibility.
Once a worker is eligible for certification, the LMS enables you to enroll them in the right course effortlessly. The LMS then tracks progress and completion both individually and as a group.
At the end of the training, the LMS’ quiz tool enables you to efficiently assess the employee’s level of relevant knowledge and competencies. Once the course is completed successfully, certification is automatically delivered.
To streamline recertification, reporting and reminders help you keep track of members that need to train or be tested again. For example, a certificate validity period can be set so that employees, supervisors, and administrators can be notified when validity is coming to an end. Dashboards can also keep you up-to-date in real time.
All of these powerful features streamline your compliance program and save your team from a multitude of time-consuming administrative tasks.
4. Reinforce your health and safety (H&S) program
Manufacturing work can be dangerous. If people are hurt on the job, the health, business, and legal repercussions to your company can be onerous.
How do you minimize that risk?
With smart and consistent H&S training. The seasoned members of your staff may have the healthy and safety rules etched in their minds, but timely repetition will help keep these rules top-of-mind with everyone.
Given our discussion of compliance above, you can count on your LMS to be dramatically efficient in the way it simplifies your H&S compliance training requirements.
Moreover, with the right LMS, an incident investigator verifying the adequacy of your H&S training can easily review it in your stored training materials.
5. Efficiently reskill and upskill your workforce
Technological innovation rapidly changes the skills needed in the workplace. As a result, the skill sets of your workers become outdated faster.
According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 79% of L&D pros agree that it’s less expensive to reskill a current employee than to hire a new one.
In reskilling, an employee trains to gain an entirely new skill set. Thus, someone who has valuable knowledge about the organization gets to exploit that asset in a totally different job.
In upskilling, an employee learns additional skills to help them do their job better. This training makes the employee more valuable to the organization.
As discussed above, your LMS enables you to manage all your L&D activities from a central location. So with the right LMS, you can, for example, put in place an upskilling program that is accessed in the flow of work. Thus, an employee confronting a challenge they’ve never met before can immediately access relevant training on the spot.
6. Show your customers and partners how to benefit the most from your relationship
In your business ecosystem, two groups will interact with your company the most: your customers and vendor partners. Your LMS can help make both relationships more productive.
For example, your LMS-based training can help your customer get the maximum benefit from your product or service. This support highlights how you value the success of your customer and reinforces their loyalty to you.
Similarly, you can train your vendor partners in the best practices for working with you. Your training program can help them reduce the risk of error and costly penalties. At the same time, you reduce the workload and hassles of your team.
7. Make better, faster training decisions
An effective L&D program will evolve as you adapt it based on analysis of your learners’ performance and feedback.
For example, you may find that your factory floor staff doesn’t engage with interactive texts as much as with video demonstrations. This insight can become a guideline for shaping your training development.
To support this real-time evolution of your training, a modern LMS delivers continuous data on every element of your syllabus. Through a reporting tool, you can comb through this real-time data and present it visually for your review. You can also export it to a spreadsheet to slice and dice it as needed.
With the right LMS, an analytics tool can also help you sift through the data to identify high-performing learners and those that could benefit from special attention. As a result, you can make better data-based decisions on what’s best for your people.
Keeping your team up-to-date on the latest knowledge, methods, and processes is a powerful way to meet the productivity challenges of today’s manufacturing. And the right LMS is your most powerful tool for empowering your team with this training.