A new day is dawning for industrial packagers and manufacturers. Advances in automation technology are making production more efficient, more streamlined, and more profitable.
For these reasons, upskilling staff on automated equipment can’t be ignored. An internal team of experts will be your key competitive advantage as methods in manufacturing leap forward.
In this blog, we explain four strategies for training and preparing your staff for automation — which will help lead to better staff retention, more capabilities, and a growing bottom line.
1. Give staff firsthand experience with on-the-job shadowing
On-the-job training can immediately get your operators up to speed on equipment and conditions that are unique to your workfloor.
It also gives both trainers and trainees a chance to learn from each other. Pairs of workers with different perspectives and skills can fill the gaps in each other’s knowledge.
There are many more benefits of shadowing:
- Workers get close, hands-on experience with the equipment.
- Fewer resources, such as licensed training and teaching materials, are required.
- There are gains in efficiency as workers ‘learn’ and ‘do’ simultaneously.
- The training will effectively upskill staff who are more visually-oriented as learners.
- New workers will learn daily operations that uniquely suit your business.
2. Open up training to the entire team
Widening your training can build up your company culture around health and safety, product updates, and daily processes. It gives your staff a single ‘language’ that helps employees on all levels communicate with each other about automated systems, and how to use them every day to streamline production.
Wider staff training also helps everyone work to the same standard and ensures that knowledge is spread more consistently. This means productivity is maintained when your workers are on leave.
3. Train the trainers
The ‘train the trainer’ model involves teaching your senior leaders and subject matter experts how to be better trainers themselves for the rest of the workforce.
For senior staff, this approach can be a crucial part of professional development. For staff who work solely with new equipment and new hires, it can grow your company’s knowledge base. And when operators are taught how to train others, in-depth instructional procedures for software and automated equipment often result.
Third-party trainers can facilitate this by sharing an in-depth understanding of products, software, and operational approaches with a range of employees in workshops and lectures. Outside consultants can also explain updates to automated technologies or the industry as a whole.
Pro-tip: Equipment providers are sometimes the best resource for training in automation. They can educate your employees on specific equipment and maintenance procedures — knowledge which trainees can then share more effectively with coworkers.
4. Invest in training courses and certifications
Courses and certificate programmes can raise your employees’ skill levels over short periods, in the subjects most relevant to their work. This makes your workers substantially more valuable to your business.
‘Formal’ courses provide more depth than typical workshops and allow you to mix in additional training types, such as role-playing, eLearning, coaching, and seminars.
Aurora offer these key benefits through the structured training we provide our customers. We ensure your staff have the proper skills in health and safety, operations, and maintenance of automated equipment, giving you a more sustainable and productive process as the years go by.
Effectively training your staff around automation will require strategic planning. Implementing shadowing procedures, widening training programmes, training your trainers, and investing in formal courses are all key ways to prepare your staff for automation, and ultimately realise the higher efficiency and profits it offers.
If you want to learn more about automation, and how Aurora can help you streamline your process, get in touch with our team today.