Build High-Performance Employees Using Technology to Train, Track and Measure

June 08, 2023
  • John Hindman
    By John Hindman
    Director of Learning Services
    Tooling U-SME

With time, budget, and resources in short supply, small manufacturers, especially, are hard-pressed when it comes to onboarding new hires and training incumbent employees.

Fortunately, technology is helping make training easier than ever. eLearning provides flexible delivery options and streamlines tracking and measuring to ensure your training and development program is meeting your business goals.

From foundational learning in measurement and math to advanced concepts in technology and design, we work closely with manufacturers of all sizes to build high-performance employees. Our online classes provide a broad base of learning that help prepare your workforce for challenges ahead--and can ready your team for in-person instruction as part of a blended, or hybrid, training program. Accelerate your team's journey to competency with Tooling U-SME.

Here are three ways that technology can help you improve employees’ performance and improve time to competency, boosting your company’s productivity.

  1. Level set manufacturing knowledge through eLearning

    eLearning introduces your new hires to standard vocabulary/terminology and basic equipment while also providing a useful refresher for existing employees.

    Online training ensures foundational content is the same for everyone so that your whole team is speaking the same language.

    This knowledge is essential as senior employees retire. Foundational learning prepares new hires to understand experiential lessons from seasoned employees on the brink of retirement. By setting a standard of understanding, our online classes encourage universal transfer of knowledge. Importantly, this foundational training builds more efficiency and expedites hands-on training by ensuring every employee is at a certain level before heading out to the floor.

    Consider a machinist who is taken off a machine to help upgrade the skill set of others. If one of four new hires is not up to speed, the machinist ends up spending more time than needed to catch up that one team member. This delay leads to a drop in productivity for both the trainer and the other three employees who could have more quickly started hands-on work.

    Creating a plan helps trainees understand the process. For instance, trainees know in advance that they will need to successfully complete a certain four classes before they head to the floor.

    Those struggling in the classroom will have the opportunity to work on their skills until they —and you — feel confident that they are ready to gain real-world experience.

    In addition, online training, such as our Tooling U-SME classes, accommodates different learning needs. For instance, if an employee has reading challenges, they may appreciate the audio option.

    Of course, regular check-ins are critical so that employees aren’t working in a bubble.

  2. Use technology to track training progress.

    Tracking is about more than recording how many classes are passed. It is a valuable tool for assessing skills gaps. Each employee has varied backgrounds, experiences, and learning styles.

    Tracking manufacturing training through a Learning Management System (LMS) allows your training team to easily monitor how different employees are learning.

    Passing test scores can be customized by each manufacturer. Commonly, employees must achieve 80 percent or higher before working on the floor.

    If a score falls below that threshold, trainers can see that an individual or group of employees need additional assistance. They can work to fill that knowledge gap specifically, without having to re-train everyone.

    For instance, an employee may struggle only with reading a measurement tool. By identifying that skills gap, a trainer can help the student develop that skill, allowing them progress to the next stage.

    This saves time moving competent employees to the floor, the ultimate goal.

    Another benefit? Our clients also tell us that with eLearning, it is easier to track completion of courses for workplace compliance.

  3. Measurement accelerates competency.

    It’s beneficial to monitor performance progress against your onboarding program goals and use assessments to measure knowledge over time. As in all aspects of manufacturing, continuous improvement plays an essential role in training.

    Measurement through assessments helps you better understand your workforce and elevate team members more quickly by offering a clear path of improvement.

    Benefits include:

    Giving Credit for Prior Learning. Every employee has different learning needs. Give them credit for prior learning, accelerating time to competency and reducing trainee frustration.

    Identifying Knowledge Gaps. Identify individual and group knowledge gaps, allowing team members to study specific courses in a self-paced learning environment.

    Customized to Job Roles. Fully customize training plans to each job role so they align with competencies.

    Accelerating Industry Certifications. Offer a ladder to ever-greater opportunities by helping team members gain industry certifications more quickly.

    Each company will measure success differently, based on job roles, goals and timeframe needed for the training.


Manufacturing eLearning Technology Success

To achieve the results, you are looking for in terms of time savings, efficiency, and consistent skill levels, we have seen best practices such as the following when tapping into training technology at manufacturers:

  • Hands-On Administrator
    The most successful programs have engaged Administrators. At the very beginning, leadership chooses at least two training champions who are responsible for the program. Our Client Success Managers partner with manufacturers to build and set up their training programs. These champions are actively involved as the program grows by assigning additional classes or tweaking the program as employees progress.

  • Micro-training
    Manufacturers are often daunted by the thought of training, afraid of the loss of productivity from taking employees off the floor. They are pleasantly surprised to learn that online classes allow trainees to consume small chunks of material. They are easily paused and resumed, allowing employees to pick up where they left off.

  • Mandatory Participation
    Successful learning and development programs require commitment. Tying training metrics to performance reviews reinforces this urgency. Help employees understand “What’s in it for me?” Show the connection between more training and a career pathway that helps them achieve higher pay, more responsibility, and greater rewards.

Technology can remove a lot of training obstacles and help you build a high-performance team that helps you create a competitive advantage.

We would enjoy talking with you about how technology can help develop your workforce despite resource challenges. Our pre-defined online classes for manufacturing job roles, including in-demand production positions, may be the answer. Contact Tooling U-SME at 866.706.8665 or learn more about our training packages.

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