Using Staff Assessments To Improve Manufacturing .

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Using staff assessments to improve manufacturing performance and safety

Introduction . 3Typical people-related challenges across manufacturing. 4Making better decisions with assessments . 7About Questionmark . 8Meeting the manufacturing skills crisis2

Commentators have long predicted that technology will replace humans in manufacturing.The evidence says otherwise.A recent study by Deloitte demonstrated that technical innovation in the productionprocess creates, rather than reduces, the need for more human input.1This means the pace of change requires manufacturing workers to constantly upskill. Newtechnologies have to be understood. New processes must be mastered.Employers need to drive up the quality of products and more must be done to minimizethe risk of health and safety breaches.Yet, despite this promising future, manufacturers are struggling to find the people theyneed to fill vacant positions. If this trajectory continues, 2.4million positions will be vacantin the US alone by 2028.2Those that can fill positions now worry about their ability to continue to do so. Meanwhile,workers fear that their current skills base will soon be redundant.This white paper explores the pressing people-related challenges facing manufacturers. Itillustrates how employers can use the information from staff assessments to make betterdecisions and overcome the problems that are common across the industry.Questionmark Viewpoint is a series of white papers and reports that we produce toexplore the challenges that our customers are facing, and which we help themaddress. These papers are based on what we are hearing from customers, and onresearch from other ing the manufacturing skills crisis3

People remain at the heart of the manufacturing industry. How they are managed,developed and utilized can determine the success or failure of an enterprise.But seven common global challenges are preventing employers from realizing their team’spotential.A ‘blue-collar drought’, whereby too few people are looking to enter the manufacturingindustry is creating problems in the recruitment process.3 There are not enough peoplewith the right skills to fill vacant positions across the industry. According to a study byDeloitte, if employers fail to address the problem of unfilled positions, it will cost the USeconomy 2.5 trillion in lost GDP by 2028.4However, despite the pressing need to fill positions, employing people that lack the correctskills can also be dangerous. This points to a serious skills gap.A survey for McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment found that the biggest barrier formanufacturers was finding people with the right skills for the job. Some 63% ofmanufacturing hirers noted a skills shortage as the biggest problem.5Too many manufacturing employees simply do not have the skills they now need to dotheir jobs, given the ever-changing needs. A study by Capgemini showed that 37% ofmanufacturing workers believe their skill set will be redundant in the next five years.6Research from McKinsey found that 87% of the hours production workers spend on taskswill soon be automated.7 This does not mean that technology will reduce the need turing34Meeting the manufacturing skills crisis4

human labor. Analysis by Deloitte shows that innovations in production technology areincreasing, rather than reducing, the number of jobs required.8 But it does show thatworkers need new skills to thrive in a changing world.Keeping staff can be as challenging as finding them. A study suggests that 43% ofmanufacturers have an annual staff turnover rate of at least 20%.9Even when a candidate has the right skills to succeed, they are not always a constructiveaddition to the team. Over half (53%) of hirers in manufacturing struggle to find recruitsthat are a good cultural fit.10The lack of essential skills is not just preventing manufacturers from taking advantage ofnew opportunities. It is undermining quality and safety.Over 80% of errors in the manufacturing process are caused by human error.11 Two majorcauses are a breakdown of communication and a failure to follow written procedures.12Human error contributes to almost all manufacturing health and safety breaches acrossthe US. In many cases, employees make mistakes because they have not been trainedeffectively.13Despite the need to develop new skills among the workforce, there is not enough effectivepersonal development across the tm89Meeting the manufacturing skills crisis5

According to a survey by training providers Tooling U-SME, three-quarters ofmanufacturing employers do not have a talent development plan in place. Just 36% setaside a budget for employee development, potentially contributing to high staff turnoverlevels.14Even when learning and development programs are in place, they do not always provide agood return on investment. Research shows that across global sectors and industries only25% of training is effective.15Manufacturing continues to be a male-dominated industry. Just 20% of its global workforceis made up of women.16The impression that manufacturing employers do not nurture diversity could be puttingpeople, particularly, young people off from entering the industry. The vast majority (88%) ofmillennials and GenZs (people born after 1980) identify working in a diverse environmentas a priority.17In the US, almost a quarter of the manufacturing workforce is aged over 55. In the UK,manufacturing is one of just four industries that employ almost half of workers aged over50.18This creates problems for succession planning. It also makes it harder to plug the growingskills gap. Without new workers coming up the ranks it is harder for employers to developthe skills they need for innovation and to take advantage of new ent/uploads/2018/10/TL 2018 Diversity hallenges-opportunities/14Meeting the manufacturing skills crisis6

People remain a manufacturing employer’s most important asset. But while managersoften wield vast amounts of data on the systems and processes that underpin theproduction process, rarely do they have similarly meaningful and reliable information onthe people they employ.Online staff assessments help employers understand what the workforce can do andunlock valuable information on how to do better.Assessments identify where strengths and weaknesses lie. They shine a light on pockets ofproductivity and reveal where extra support and training is required. They give leaders thevital information they need to make better decisions on recruitment, training, promotions,and personal development.Assessments can specifically help manufacturers in the following ways: Improving the quality of hire –. testing candidates before deciding to hire them, toensure that recruits have what it takes to hit the ground running and drive innovation.After implementing assessment technology, 76% of corporations have seen an increasein the quality of hire.19As well as testing the skills of employees, assessments can cast light on a potentialrecruit’s attitude and mentality. This will help employers decide if they are a goodcultural fit. Transforming training and improve quality – ineffective training leads to errors andconfusion. It undermines quality.By assessing staff during and after training, employers can ensure that the right lessonsare being learned. By assessing the skills of the workforce before beginning training,employers gain a clear sense of what skills staff already possess and can eliminateunnecessary training.19Brandon Hall Group, Assessing Assessments: Value and ImpactMeeting the manufacturing skills crisis7

Reduce health and safety risk – too often health and safety incidents occur becauseemployers don’t understand the procedures. By training teams on correct practice, andtesting them when the training is finished, employers can ensure staff understand whatthey need to do. The risk is reduced. Nurture a diverse workforce – when making decisions on promotions or recruitment,assessments can identify which candidates have the appropriate skills andcompetencies for the job.Any unconscious biases can be challenged. Where training is introduced to promotediversity and equality, assessments can measure what participants have learned.We have worked with manufacturers around the world, helping them to make betterdecisions and meet the challenges outlined in this paper.If you are interested in beginning a conversation with us, please visit our website and booka turingMeeting the manufacturing skills crisis8

We help organizations and their people unlock their potential to deliver better performance.Questionmark provides a secure enterprise-grade assessment platform and professional services toleading organizations around the world, delivered with care and unequalled expertise. Its full-serviceonline assessment tool and professional services help customers to improve their performance andmeet their compliance requirements. Questionmark enables organizations to unlock their potential bydelivering assessments which are valid, reliable and fair, which can be defended.Questionmark offers secure powerful integration with learning management systems (LMS), learningrecord stores (LRS) and proctoring services making it easy to bring everything together in one place.Questionmark's cloud-based assessment management platform offers rapid deployment, scalability forhigh-volume test delivery, 24/7 support, and the peace-of-mind of secure, audited U.S., Australian andEuropean-based data centers.To further explore how Questionmark could work for your organization, or to book a free consultationand demo, please see: markQuestionmarkQuestionmark GmbHUnited StatesUnited KingdomGermany35 Nutmeg DriveMoor Place, 1 Fore StreetHopfenstr. 8,Trumbull, CT 06611London, EC2Y 9DT80335 MunchenTel: (800) 863-3950Tel: 44 (0)20 7263 7575Tel: 49 (0) 89 220 61272Fax: (800) 339-3944Fax: 44 (0)20 7263 document is copyright Questionmark Corporation (Questionmark) 2020.Although Questionmark has used all reasonable care in writing this document, Questionmark makesno representations about the suitability of the information contained in this and related documents forany purpose. The document may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors, and changesmay be periodically made to the document or to the software referenced. This document is provided“as is” without warranty of any kind. See your Perception support contract for further information.Company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Mention of these companiesin this document does not imply any warranty by these companies or approval by them of this guideor its Copyright Questionmark Computing Limited Copyright Questionmark Computing Limited