8 ways training and development programs can support digital transformation

In today's fast-paced business world, digital transformation has become a necessity for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies looking to stay competitive and relevant. By leveraging digital technologies to streamline processes, improve customer experience, and enhance communication, EMS providers can achieve greater efficiency, innovation, and cost savings. However, digital transformation is not just about technology. It also requires a shift in mindset, culture, and skills. This is where training and development programs come in. 

The role of training and development in digital transformation cannot be overstated. Without full ‘buy in’ at the human level you risk significant investment for very little return. Here are 8 ways in which training and development programs can support digital transformation initiatives in your organization:

1. Upskilling and Reskilling Employees

With digital technologies constantly evolving, it is important to ensure that employees have the necessary skills. In some cases, this will require staff to either enhance their existing knowledge or learn completely new skills. For example, the implementation of an upgraded ERP System could require existing staff to learn how the new features now on offer will benefit them and also the company.

2. Creating a Digital Culture

Digital transformation is not just about adopting new technologies; it requires a cultural shift as well. For an EMS provider to be successful, they need staff to ‘buy in’ to learning and development. One way they can achieve this is by providing employees with access to digital resources such as online training materials, collaboration tools, and digital workspaces which can help create a culture of digital fluency and innovation.

3. Enhancing Employee Engagement

When employees feel invested in their work and have opportunities for growth and development, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. Line Managers within EMS providers should hold regular review sessions with their staff during the year so they can talk about career paths and development plans. Not all staff will want to progress but if someone does express an interest to reach the next level it’s important this is recorded so that plans can be put in place to find suitable training courses or development opportunities.

4. Supporting Change Management

Digital transformation can involve significant changes to processes, workflows, and even job roles. It is very important that EMS providers inform staff about ongoing changes and explain what and why they are investing in and how roles and skills might change as a result. Naturally, humans are resistant to change and some fear this, but resistance can be made ten times worse if communication leading up, during, and after the change is poor too.

5. Encouraging Continuous Learning

Many of the clients EMS providers work with are at the forefront of technology, and by their very nature keep pushing technological barriers. This means staff working within EMS companies must keep pushing themselves too. In many cases learning never actually finishes and good EMS providers will encourage their staff to keep developing themselves. Providing a suite of learning and development tools through a platform such as Kallidus, can be an effective way for organizations to manage this. All available e-learning courses are hosted in one place, bespoke courses can be uploaded and courses that have been completed by staff are also recorded in the same area, making it easy for both employer and employee to keep track of progress.

6. Improving Talent Retention

In today's competitive job market, offering training and development programs can help organizations attract and retain top talent. Employees who see that their organization is invested in their professional growth and development are more likely to stay with the company. And those looking externally for a new job may favour one company over another based on this type of investment.

7. Shift in Job Roles

Digital transformation can lead to a shift in job roles within an organization. For example, as more tasks are automated, employees may need to take on new roles that require a different set of skills. An obvious example in manufacturing might be the implementation of a new robot on a production line. The robot would need programming, calibrating, and hardware upgrades/software updates along the way, depending on what task it was performing. Such skills may not already exist in-house and would, therefore, need learning from scratch. Linked to this technological shift, organizations are being forced to collect and analyze large amounts of data, leading to data-driven decision-making. Several new roles are already starting to emerge within engineering and manufacturing companies including data analysts, digital marketers, and cybersecurity experts.

8. Collaboration and Communication

Digital transformation can change the way people collaborate and communicate within an organization. Collaboration tools such as video conferencing and messaging apps can enable employees to work together more effectively, regardless of their physical location. Linked to this, digital transformation has also helped facilitate remote working, enabling certain employees to work from home or other locations outside the traditional office setting. Post-COVID-19, this has significantly changed the way people work and collaborate, as well as changes in the office culture.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is not just about technology; it is also about people. Robust training and development programs are essential for EMS providers looking to achieve digital transformation, as they can help employees acquire new skills, foster a digital culture, and support change management. By investing in training and development programs, successful EMS companies will build a workforce that is ready and able to embrace digital transformation, drive business success and provide unrivalled customer service levels.New Call-to-action