The Redzone Way of Training

Proper training is the foundation of all careers and should be designed to set employees up for success. The issue? Many employers look at training as just a box to tick, doing and sharing the bare minimum for what frontline employees need to know in order to jump on the factory lines as quickly as possible.

Extensive training programs are emerging all over: the Biden Administration launched a workforce development program for jobs in AI, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and more; Vander-Bend, a metal manufacturer out of California introduced a new in-house training program to focus on how and where skills are learned and not just what is learned; and Boeing Australia opened a Skills Development Center to train current and new employees on advanced manufacturing technologies and processes.

At Redzone, we live by the mentality of “watch one, do one, teach one.” The best learning is done on the floor, rather than a classroom. We teach our customers to use problem-solving skills to find the root cause of an issue, rather than the manufacturing industry’s more common route of finding a band-aid solution that’s deployed most quickly.

Redzone’s coaching playbook

We created an extensive training program for our customers’ teams, helping to ensure their greatest possible success while using our software. Perhaps most importantly, our product is not sold without the Redzone coaching program – a 90-day coaching journey with a member of the Redzone Customer Success Team, available long-term for troubleshooting and customer support.

Common manufacturing training issues

Manufacturing is in the midst of technological advancement, and while we have seen immense growth as a whole, certain aspects of manufacturing, just like training processes, are stuck in the past. There are two major issues we find in traditional training programs:

  • Training does not live in a book buried on a shelf. On the job training (OJT) is very valuable and is our focus at Redzone. We know workers need to be out in the field doing it – not in a classroom, behind a desk, or glued to a computer or book. OTJ also allows for continuous training and learning at two months, six months, a full year and beyond. When learning on the frontlines, training opportunities are constant without taking time away from the manufacturing process.
  • Plants are not investing in the employee. In addition to training, it is crucial for manufacturers to increase investments in their employees and focus on their retention rates. Putting a focus on employee experience and training increases their willingness to stay with the company and further their careers.

Taking steps toward success

Success is rooted in the employees, both our own and the employees of our customers. Advice for all trying to transform their training process is to put power in the hands of the frontline workers. Give them a voice and make sure they are empowered with the information and data they need, giving them the confidence and skills to problem solve and be the backbone of their own manufacturing process.

It is also important to take a step back from business targets – stop looking at quarterly goals and KPIs for just a moment. Instead, take a harder look at the shop floor and the accountability processes in place. Who is leading the conflict resolution? How does this affect production? Can a frontline employee solve the issue without going to a manager or operations leader?

The future of manufacturing

With the likelihood of a recession growing, manufacturing is facing a shift. Product demand and costs are high, yet our employment numbers are low. Baby boomers, once the key demographic of the industry, are continuing to retire since the onset of the pandemic.

We are looking at extreme turnover challenges in the eye and rising costs of production. To make it out the other side, we have to turn the focus back on our employees. Leaders need to invest time and resources to create a strong team, and, as an industry, we need to create an environment that prioritizes individual and career growth. For more details on Redzone’s coaching program proven results, click here.

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