The idea that people can’t adjust and adapt to new rules is a tired one. I’ve seen plenty of people in my career, from the stereotypical older worker who can’t figure out the email system to the stereotypical younger worker who is totally focused on what everything means about them. But I’ve seen a higher proportion of advanced workers who jump at the chance to try new things or embrace new technologies — and newbies who bring wonderful teambuilding ideas to the organization.
So, I wasn’t surprised to see a recent survey from Mendix that showed that 87% of U.S. manufacturing workers want to learn low-code application development. Further, 67% said they’d like to develop an app that tackles issues in their jobs, and 62% said they see learning new digital skills as important to success in their current role.
The downside here is that a mere 18% said they are happy with digital skills they possess — and they’re not receiving much support from their organizations or bosses. At a time when our manufacturing industry is mired in a decades-long slump and when managers clamor for productivity and more useful software applications, much of the nation’s workforce seems ill-equipped to deal with writing code.
“Low-code solves so many of the problems facing manufacturers and industrialists,” explained Derek Roos, CEO of Mendix. “Like many business sectors, U.S. manufacturing is short of software and software developers. Training workers to code is expensive and time-consuming. Low-code enables citizen developers to build applications rapidly, with minimum training.”
This last crazy 14-month period of our lives has taught many of us that we’re more adaptable than we might have thought. Prior to the pandemic, I had been working remotely from the office one day per week, which was perfect in my opinion. The flexibility was great, but I knew there was no way I could ever do it three, four or five days per week. How did those fully remote workers manage to do it? That’d drive me crazy. Well, after my own trial by fire, I’ve adjusted and realized I truly love the full-time working remote concept.
Whether it’s learning new skills within the realm of manufacturing and engineering technology or the basics of our physical working spaces, it is clear managers have to continue to adapt, listen to their employee’s wants and needs, and provide proper training for working better — not merely in 2021, but in 2025, 2030, and beyond.
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