• The COVID-19 epidemic has shown industrial firms the critical nature of a healthy staff and the need to physically and electronically create happy work conditions.
  • The industry is confronted with an absence of digital tools and processes, particularly for frontline employees, and developing skills gaps among an ever-younger workforce.
  • Industrial organizations may adopt a people-centric strategy and use technology to improve employee connectivity and support.

In 2020, industrial organizations were compelled to reevaluate their corporate and employee objectives. Employers understand the value of maintaining a physically and psychologically healthy workforce and that they cannot succeed without fostering excellent work conditions for all employees.

By adopting a people-centric attitude in 2021 and using technology to boost agility – with an emphasis on recruiting and reskilling – manufacturers will foster an environment where employees feel connected, supported, and empowered.

Management must prioritize resolving employee emotional exhaustion.

Businesses will become more human-centric than ever before in 2021. Employees may feel alienated since some have been secluded at home; others who remain on the manufacturing floor must socially distance themselves – even if they are physically present at work. Even if vaccinations become more widely accessible, it will take years before employee operations return to normal, if they ever do.

Leaders are more aware that when workers experience worry and emotional exhaustion, the situation becomes a business issue. You’re not at your best at work if you’re emotionally spent. According to research conducted by The Standard, a US-based insurance firm, 55% of employees report that a mental health condition has been more prevalent since the epidemic started, while 36% report that drug abuse has become more prevalent.

Leaders with an advance of $500 and businesses will see alleviating employee worry as a crucial corporate duty. We all want a feeling of stability and balance, necessitating tactics such as reducing isolation via technology that allows us to interact and cooperate while remaining connected. Whether employees are linked makes little difference if they work in various methods or from different places; they will still feel connected and as if their labor is making a difference.

Manufacturers need technology to improve employee agility.

By 2021, business agility will have permanently reset manufacturing, with organizations putting technology at the center of their strategy. While the absence of contemporary digital tools for frontline employees has been evident, COVID-19 demonstrated how many firms’ dependence on antiquated, paper-based systems harmed operations and agility.

According to a study conducted by my firm Parsable, a globally deployed software solution for industrial employees, approximately 80% of frontline production workers continue to depend on paper for instructions and job tracking. Nearly half (47 percent) have not been provided mobile devices to assist them in working more effectively with their employers.

Today, there may be 15 personnel on the floor, compared to the customary 20. How do they compensate for the effort of those five employees? The solution is the technology that improves visibility and enables agility. With supply chain disruptions, wholesale plant closures, and shifting work patterns, businesses’ reliance on technology to connect employees has never been more critical.

Attracting younger, more qualified employees is an existential issue.

The retirement rate for late-career workers will accelerate in the coming year, resulting in an existential crisis for manufacturers already confronted that 75% of the workforce will be millennials by 2025, and 2.4 million industrial jobs will be unfilled in the United States alone by 2028. 

Manufacturers must grasp the changing employment environment and try to provide a seamless transition for the younger workforce. An urgent effort is required to digitize the knowledge of veterans over 30 and give current technologies to attract and retain the younger generation. While there are outstanding emerging leaders worldwide, we must do more. Participating in the Forum’s New Generation Industry Leaders network is a good start.

This year will also witness the emergence of the Reskilling Revolution, which aims to resist this tsunami by providing improved skills, education, and employment to one billion people by 2030. The emphasis on reskilling will assist manufacturers in becoming a part of a skills-based system that will help fill the talent pool and foster an atmosphere where employees have easier access to continuing education and can migrate between positions.

The manufacturing sector was fundamentally altered last year; organizations will need to continue working toward a more flexible environment throughout this year. Manufacturers will be set up for success in 2021 by focusing on being people-centric and prioritizing reskilling and technology adoption to support this strategy.