Addressing workforce shortages and diminishing expertise

Nov 16, 2023
Written by WR Communications


Skilled worker shortages may result in employers hiring those with less on-the-job experience and knowledge. Employers are spending less time to train new employees due to high turnovers. Frequently, newer, less experienced employees are now training the newest employees, which can result in gaps in understanding proper processes and the risk hazards associated with the work.

To address these gaps, management/supervisors need to be intentional about incorporating good practices such as:

Ongoing training to upskill existing employees:

  • For experienced workers, develop them into mentors to transfer knowledge to newer ones.
  • Cross-train wherever possible to create a backup resource for the future.

Employee Retention Strategies:

  • Provide a positive work environment and competitive compensation and benefits.
  • Conduct regular employee feedback sessions to address concerns and follow through with their feedback to improve job satisfaction.

Recruitment Strategies:

  • Inquire applicants about their past involvement and training on workplace safety.
  • Consider hiring based on potential and cultural fit, with a commitment to providing necessary training.

Strategic Partnerships:

  • Collaborate with industry associations, community colleges, and vocational schools to identify targeted training programs.
  • Establish partnerships with other businesses to share resources and expertise.

Internship Programs:

  • Develop internship programs to provide hands-on experience to individuals entering the workforce.
  • Create pathways for interns to transition into full-time roles.

Technology Adoption:

  • Leverage technology to automate routine tasks, allowing employees to focus on more complex responsibilities.
  • Invest in tools and systems that enhance productivity and reduce the need for highly specialized skills.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation:

  • Regularly assess the skills needed and adjust training programs accordingly.
  • Stay informed about emerging technologies and trends to anticipate future skill requirements.

By combining these strategies, businesses can work towards minimizing the impact of a skills gap and fostering a workforce with the necessary safety knowledge and competencies.

Our safety team is available to help members improve their safety program beyond compliance with quality safety practices. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.


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