With an ever-increasing skills gap and massive demand for consumer products, manufacturing companies struggle to find enough qualified employees to fill vacant positions. Your organization may have even encountered this problem firsthand.
Overcoming such a widespread challenge requires a multifaceted approach. To be successful, you need to refine your hiring practices, but you cannot forget to optimize your manufacturing skills training programs too.
Unfortunately, improving training outcomes is often easier said than done. But there is a proven strategy for increasing the efficacy of your manufacturing skills training while also equipping your staff to efficiently complete daily assignments: implementing industry-specific skills tests both before and after training.
The Problem: A Massive Manufacturing Skills Gap
Like many other manufacturing companies, your organization has likely ramped up your training efforts in recent years. According to CNBC and the Manufacturing Institute, manufacturers were projected to spend approximately $26.2 billion in 2020 on “upskilling.” Funds were spent to attract qualified employees, train existing staff, and improve retention rates.
The driving force behind this huge investment in manufacturing skills training programs is a lack of qualified candidates. Roughly 2.6 million baby boomers who work in the manufacturing industry are projected to retire by 2028. Conversely, the demand for manufacturing employees is expected to increase by 1.96 million in that same period. The resulting shift of over 4.5 million people is going to leave many companies scrambling to fill vacancies.
In the coming decade, employee retention and in-house training programs will be essential for manufacturing businesses. But simply instituting a training program is not enough. Manufacturers must ensure that training can effectively improve the skill set of existing employees, preparing them to step into larger roles within the organization.
Benefits of Skills Tests
In addition to improving training outcomes, skill tests offer numerous benefits. They are more objective than relying on formal interviews alone, especially for the manufacturing industry.
In terms of hiring, skills tests ensure that every applicant is held to the same standard. You will be able to hire purely on merit, not simply on which candidates have the best answers to interview questions. Skills tests can give your hiring team data-centered feedback on each prospective candidate.
For existing team members, use skills tests to gain insight into your staff’s skill sets. Skills tests also make your evaluation process more consistent, allowing you to gauge what your staff members know and where their knowledge base falls short.
One of the biggest perks to skills tests for manufacturing firms is their ability to provide measurable data. Each employee will receive a quantifiable score for the assessments they take. Use this data to guide your training efforts, thereby improving the outcomes of employee education. Your training coordinators will no longer have to design material based on assumptions and anecdotal data!
How Manufacturing Skills Tests Improve Training Outcomes
If your goal is to enhance employee education programs and improve training outcomes, skills tests must be a part of your overarching strategy. These tests are vital to every aspect of employee training. Without these assessments, the effectiveness of your training will suffer.
Skills tests improve training outcomes on several fronts. First, they provide an accurate assessment of the current knowledge level of your staff. By establishing a baseline, you will know what your employees are proficient in and which subjects need to be addressed with future training.
After your employees complete a particular block of training, skills tests will allow you to assess the effectiveness of the program itself. If the tests demonstrate a measurable increase in skills and job knowledge, then you know that the training resonated with employees. A lack of documentable improvement indicates that the instruction should be refined or replaced altogether.
Skills tests should be used continuously to monitor growth, assess training programs, and refine courses.
Break down the ongoing development of manufacturing training programs into five simple steps.
The first step is to analyze current manufacturing skill levels and job knowledge. In step two, training staff should begin developing and designing the course. Next, teams will deliver the course materials to your staff via in-person or remote instruction. Then, turn to follow-up skills tests to demonstrate training effectiveness. Finally, analyze your data. When utilized properly, skills tests play an integral role in improving training outcomes.
Ready to Learn More? Contact eSkill Today
eSkill’s comprehensive suite of manufacturing skills training tests is designed to help organizations achieve optimal training outcomes. We offer various tests specific to the manufacturing industry, including the Mechanical Aptitude Test, Assembly Skills Test, Basic Industrial Math Skills Test, and Logical Thinking Skills Test, among many others. You can even create custom content by combining existing tests with video prompts.
Learn how implementing a manufacturing skills training program can help you maximize productivity. Request a demo today!