Manufacture Smarter Blog

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COVID-19 Emphasizes the Need for New Skills Among Current Workers

7/24/2020 - BY: REBEKAH MCCARTER
The COVID-19 outbreak forced companies to evaluate and transform their traditional ways of doing business nearly overnight. As companies worked to acclimate to this new environment, many came to realize their abilities to reskill or upskill workers were not sufficient to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape.


Best Practices for Working From Home: Staying Successful at Your Home Office

4/21/2020 - THE CENTER
​We recently published a blog discussing how to keep employees feeling engaged and valued while working from home by prioritizing training. In addition to these engagement challenges, many are working from home for the first time ever and are struggling to stay focused and productive in such a different environment. For those who need extra guidance, there are resources that can help.


A New Leadership Challenge: How to Support Your Workforce During COVID-19

4/7/2020 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to heavily impact businesses, with operations partially or completely shut down and many team members working from home, leaders are left wondering how they can ensure employees are feeling valued, engaged and secure in their roles. While the pandemic has already caused much disruption and distress for manufacturers as they consider what the future holds, there are still ways companies can work right now to strengthen both their business and their workforce to better position themselves for the eventual return to normal operations.


Reshape Your Company Culture to Attract Millennials

11/15/2019 - BY: MIGUEL GOMEZ
It's no secret that the manufacturing industry is facing a hiring crisis. If leaders have any hope of filling their talent gaps long-term, they must work to align their company values with those of younger generations.


Are You Stuck in a Rut?

7/26/2019 - BY: DAVE NELSON
How many times during your career have you found yourself feeling stuck in a rut? When this happens, there are two ways to respond: wait for things around you to change or proactively make changes yourself.


The Importance of Blueprint Reading: Teaching New Workers Old Tricks

7/12/2019 - BY: BOB JENKINS
Today, virtually all young people interested in engineering programs are proficient in drawing and creating 3D models that make a computer screen come alive with visuals. Painfully, however, many high schools no longer provide the option of taking a drafting class, which forms the basis of all CAD drawings. Despite the lack of attention in schools, learning skills in blueprint reading and drafting should not be overlooked by those who work in manufacturing.


How Employee Training Affects Your Company Reputation - And Your Bottom Line

6/21/2019 - BY: DEB JOSEPH
The ongoing skilled trades employee shortage is causing many manufacturers to hire from outside of the industry, bringing in people without manufacturing skills or backgrounds. However, due to the unique nature of the manufacturing industry, this lack of experience and knowledge brings many challenges for the incoming workforce. To ease workers' transitions into a manufacturing environment, a strong training program is essential.


Addressing a Different Type of Talent Shortage: The Soft Skills Gap

4/5/2019 - BY: KARA KUCINSKI
A massive talent shortage is posing a great challenge for manufacturers as they seek to hire workers with the experience and technical knowledge needed to fill open positions in their facilities. But now, a lack of soft skills, or interpersonal skills, among candidates is making it even more difficult to find the kind of worker that will help their companies succeed in the long run.


Everything I Know About Motivation I Learned from Prison

3/8/2019 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
Supervisors are constantly in pursuit of finding the perfect recipe to motivate problem people. Whether it’s a stereotypical millennial or an old-timer who is stuck in their ways, the question is the same: How do I get someone – anyone – to follow and execute my direction? It’s one of the most important and difficult questions for leaders to answer.


Redefining Manufacturing in 2019

1/4/2019 - THE CENTER
If manufacturers were to look back five or 10 years, most manufacturers would realize their companies have changed so tremendously, that they are unrecognizable compared to how they once were. These transformations in processes, products, staffing and innovations have altered how their businesses appear and operate. This begs the question, what will manufacturing look like in 2019?


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