Delivering this education may prove to be challenging within the specific parameters of the manufacturing sector. But, do not be intimidated by the challenge; here are three simple ways to implement effective training.

1. Make training mobileAs a group, Americans check their smartphones 8 billion times a day, a 2015 Deloitte report informs us. On top of that, 72% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, which is 12% more than the percentage of the eligible American population that votes in the presidential election. Our nation — in fact, our world — is moving to the mobile device at an accelerating pace.

The workforce also looks to these devices for their education, using web-based content as their virtual textbooks. Bridge’s study found that 80% of employees are turning to their mobile devices for continuing education, and learning from Internet sources. To get ahead of this self-education, meet employees where they are: on their smartphones. Create training that is web-based and mobile-optimized so your scattered workforce dispersed across offices, warehouses and factories can access your courses anywhere, anytime.

2. Make it easy to digestIt’s human nature to want “instant gratification and quick fixes.” As soon as content becomes lengthy or difficult to comprehend, we bail. No wonder so many of us will binge on Netflix rather than audit online neuroscience classes in our spare time. Our concentration levels have even regressed in recent years, from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2015, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! 

With all these facts in mind, it’s important that manufacturing companies create training that is streamlined and concise, to maximize employee engagement.

3. Teach skills they won’t find elsewhere — As manufacturing fatalities have increased in recent years, it’s imperative that you teach your staff proper safety behaviors and precautions. Perhaps even more important, however — and may give you a leg up on the competition for upcoming talent — is providing education in skills unique to your company’s personnel. Manufacturing companies should leverage the particular skills and experiences from their managers and leadership to offer training lower-level employees will not gain anywhere else. This customized training creates an incentive for employees to remain with the company.

The benefits of training — Cultivating a company culture that emphasizes continual education will reward not only the employees, but the organization as a whole. Effective training will ensure appropriate safety measures are met, but also increase enterprise productivity and retain top performers. Stimulating the ability for employees to gain expertise and share it with colleagues and coworkers will upskill each one of them, and therefore drive overall success. In the process, it will narrow the Skills Gap.

Jeff Weber is the senior vice president of People and Places at Bridge by Instructure — a mobile learning platform for SaaS-based organizational training. He has over two decades of human resources experience, and specializes in enhancing the employee experience for individuals, while supporting an environment of performance, transparency, learning, and growth. Contact Weber at jeffw@instructure.com