Are Trade Persons Prepared for Today’s Manufacturing Environment?

tradesperson_manufacturing_transformationIn today’s evolving workspace, it can feel impossible to catch up. Products and processes are practically out of date the minute that they are launched. As the world of manufacturing expands both globally and digitally, the tradesperson is expected to evolve with these changes. Today’s trade person is not only expected to be a skilled at their particular job, but also able to communicate clearly, network, research and diversify.

Foster Connections

Developing strong networks is even more essential today than in the past. Social media has made communication that much easier bringing together a global community. Cultivating connections with a group of individuals with similar interests is a great way to discover new research, job opportunities and discuss possible solutions. Imagine being able to instantly reach out to a team to brainstorm solutions for a problem that has you stumped or being able to ask for suggestions on which new tool to purchase? Fostering a network of individuals can help you discover solutions for these challenges and more. Fostering connections is an investment. Take the time to listen, participate and collaborate in conversations whether it’s at the water cooler or on an online forum.

Adapting to a Global Language

The English language continues to be the primary language used for business. However, context, gestures and cultural practices also play a large role in communication. Even the words themselves can have completely different meanings. For example, in England sledge typically refers to a sleigh. This could become quite confusing if you asked your UK co-worker to pass you the sledge, meaning sledge hammer, and he is wondering why would you want a sleigh?

As part of working in a global community, a skilled trades person should take the time to understand the nuances of the culture of his co-workers. Take the time to discover if there is a reason why the new employee won’t make eye contact before dismissing him as being shy. A support group of new immigrants can help understand some of the culture practices of certain areas. Don’t assume, ask questions and pay attention to body language and facial expressions.

More than Social Media

Digital technology is so much more than being able to text or post on Facebook, although both have a valuable role in business. It is about increasing overall efficiency, having key resources at hand, and minimizing the amount of required tools. One smart device can replace several tools including:  phone, day planner, a bank teller, maps, calculator, alarm clock, and user manuals. With the use of smart technology, communication is accessible, efficient and instant.

By becoming digitally engaged, a trade person can now have on site communication with several individuals simultaneously, whether it’s through a group email or Skype conference call. And in the event of an emergency, help can be summoned quickly.

Cultivate Transferable Skills

In today’s work place, being able to adapt to change has become a necessity. What skills does your current role need? And what other trades position also require a similar skill set? Take the time to foster your transferable skills, whether it’s building your muscle memory, cultivating reading comprehension or becoming a sought out sales person. The most important transferable skill is willingness to learn, be open to change, ask questions and seek out information. This skill alone will help pave the way to a successful future.

As the world becomes increasingly more global and digital, the role of the trades person will continue to evolve. Networking, communication, research and transferable skills are key tools that will not only help a trades person survive but also reach their career of their dreams.'

James Sidney Harvey'

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