The article is Contributed by Shalin Maheshwari - Co-founder of Meraqui.
Automation, digital platforms, numerous innovations, and technological advancements are all transforming the fundamental essence of employment in the corporate sector. Although these digital transformations were designed with white-collar labor in mind, they are also being developed for the blue-collar workforce.
Undoubtedly, the internet, wireless networks, e-commerce, and social media have drastically altered how we interact, live, and work today, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic. Software and algorithms have advanced to the point that they can execute complicated, cognitive, and repetitive functions across numerous commercial applications. The automation provided by technology such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning promises enhanced productivity, efficiency, safety, and, most importantly, convenience. However, concerns evaluating the impact of machines on work and people have existed since the very invention of machines.
Thus, let’s take a closer look at how technology can revolutionize blue-collar workforce management:
Technology Will Not Take Up Employment
According to a recent PwC global survey, 37 per cent of workers are anxious about the possibility of losing their employment due to automation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), for example, are making enormous gains toward developing cutting-edge products that can directly replace blue-collar labor. This is because these positions typically require labor-intensive tasks that intelligent machines can easily complete. Self-driving cars, automated cleaning gadgets, and food delivery drones are just a few instances of how technology can replace employees in their current professions. But this does not automatically imply that blue-collar employees will lose their jobs.
According to a World Economic Forum report, automation would certainly provide millions of new job possibilities in the future. However, even in blue-collar jobs, professionals will be required to have a working grasp of novel technology such as AI, ML, and data analytics. Professionals will need to undertake major and ongoing upskilling as the nature of occupations changes and become more tech-driven.
The growing influence of automation, technologies, as well as the accelerated pace of change in employee responsibilities and competencies, make a major shift in the workplace imperative. Many companies have recognized the need to upskill their workers and have already begun training personnel at higher levels of the business. But there are still a few.
More companies should strive to match staff at all levels with future technology, changing customer needs, and market movements. Companies can make all of their employees capable of adapting to tech-driven disruption within the firm and across the industry by doing so. It also assists blue-collar workers in gaining the knowledge and skills they need to face disruption head-on.
How Can Firms Upskill Blue-Collar Workers?
Companies must explain continuous changes to their workers in order to promote efficient learning and provide a smooth transition for the workforce. Leaders may see training blue-collar workers as a greater problem because they may not be familiar with or even aware of many of the cutting-edge technologies. However, if executives keep the following in mind, they can still carve out an enhanced workforce:
Map the Skills Gap
To find out where their blue-collar talent stands in terms of industry-specific skill sets and what competencies are necessary for the market for a successful transition, firms must construct a map of skill gaps. The data and advanced insights about skill gaps will essentially establish the groundwork for building a future road map for establishing development programs and mitigating the effects of the skill gap.
Organizations must provide compelling learning modules that are easy to understand for employees, especially in the form of videos and audio. They can also be translated into local languages to engage personnel in different parts of the world and make the content easier to understand. The course should introduce employees to the fundamentals and then build on that knowledge to expand their understanding of additional industry-specific principles.
Customization of learning can help accomplish the objective of making modules more understandable for workers in a number of different ways. It's crucial to remember that every employee is unique in terms of their skills, educational background, and even learning style. Since leaders and managers know their team's problems and strengths better than anyone else, they can be involved in the formulation of training programs. Companies can use the buddy shadowing approach to get the best outcomes and foster an agile culture by encouraging peer-to-peer learning. They can use gratitude and recognition to empower employees while also guaranteeing nobody is left behind.
It’s simple - technological advancements don't have to frighten the blue-collar workforce; instead, they should encourage them to master essential skills that will keep them equipped for the future.
Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky
Subscribe to StartupTalky
Get the latest insights delivered to you right in your inbox