It’s challenging to hire skilled manufacturing and logistics workers. So why not do more with the talent you already have? Here are the top four benefits of upskilling your M&L workforce.

While job creation has slowed some in recent months, it’s remained steady in the manufacturing industry, which has 67,000 more jobs than pre-pandemic. At the same time, managers are struggling to find employees who can stay on pace with tech-driven change in areas like automation and warehouse management systems.

That’s where upskilling comes in. By giving your current workforce the skills they need to meet changing demands, you can start to close your skills gaps. It’s a win-win — you save time and money on recruitment while your employees achieve one of their professional objectives. The 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research report shows that 76 percent of workers say it’s very important to be offered reskilling/upskilling opportunities by their employers. Let’s look at these and other benefits of upskilling employees in more detail.

1. improved safety

Technologies old and new can deliver significant time and efficiency benefits — but only if employees know how to use them safely. Start by conducting an audit on your workforce’s general manufacturing and logistics skills. Ensure, for example, that anyone operating a forklift is certified to do so. If they are not, allocate the resources to invest in their training. For cutting-edge warehouse automation technologies like storage and retrieval systems and collaborative robots, you should develop training plans for employees who show aptitude and potential in these areas. Over time, you’ll build an in-house talent pipeline of staff who understand the latest procedures and safety requirements for automated and robotic systems.

2. increased efficiency

Upskilling your workforce equips it to handle more complex processes, understand technology and data better, and work more effectively using automated systems. Highly competent and knowledgeable workers are not only more productive and less likely to make errors; they are also more likely to identify potential problems and come up with creative solutions. Training programs can also increase collaboration and communication between employees and managers — a critical piece of the puzzle in making any workplace run efficiently.

3. reduced turnover

If you don’t make your workers feel valued, there’s every chance they’ll look for an employer who does. One cost-effective way to inspire loyalty? Upskilling. Almost three-quarters (72%) of employees surveyed for the 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research study said they were more likely to stay with an employer that offered training and professional development opportunities. To maximize employee engagement, ask your workers about the skills they want to focus on, then do your best to balance their career priorities with the needs of the business.

4. reputation boost

Investing in your staff through upskilling signals to potential customers and partners that your company is innovative and forward-thinking — the kind of brand, in other words, they’d probably like to be associated with. It also demonstrates that you and your employees are staying on top of technological trends. This is a compelling narrative to weave into your marketing and recruitment campaigns, helping you attract new customers drawn to your brand and skilled candidates who see you as a place where they can evolve and grow.

Learn more about the importance of upskilling and how Randstad’s partnerships with providers like Udemy and Amazon Career Choice can help you close your skills gaps.