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3 Ways SHL Help Manufacturers with Digital Transformation

Evolution in the manufacturing industry requires organizations to think differently about how they evaluate, grow, and acquire talent.

We recently wrote about how the manufacturing industry has drastically changed over time, and how the digital revolution is transforming work in manufacturing facilities. Transformations are happening quicker, more broadly, and with greater impact. A different set of skills are required to be successful in the manufacturing sector with the growing use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data, and robots.

Behavioral skills are now seen as equally or more critical than technical skills.

You might think that technical knowledge is the most important skill needed for success in this new world of work. However, behavioral skills are now seen as equally or more critical than technical skills.

Behavioral skills often take longer to develop and are best developed through experiences, rather than structured learning environments. A survey by IBM found that behavioral skills dominate the top competencies that global executives seek in workers. These competencies include:

  • Willing to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change
  • Time management and able to prioritize
  • Ability to collaborate and work effectively in teams
  • Ability to communicate effectively in business context 

These behavioral competencies are rated more important than technical skills like analytics, business acumen, STEM, and basic computer and software proficiency.

SHL has helped manufacturing organizations evaluate, grow, and acquire the right talent by focusing on behavioral competencies such as:

  1. Incumbent Evaluation
    SHL partnered with a global automotive company to provide insights for its supervisor population at an US-based facility. Their goal was to ensure that regional leadership teams had an objective view of the supervisors’ strengths and development needs.

    SHL assessed the supervisors to gauge their potential in relation to the organization’s competency framework and created an interview guide that was aligned to the organization’s framework. An interview was conducted with each supervisor to better understand their behaviors, experiences, and motivations.

    Group-level results provided regional leadership with a clear understanding of the current strengths and development needs of the supervisors at the facility and set the stage for identifying ways to close the gaps with future individual development, group development, or selection of external candidates with the skills needed to fill the identified gaps.

  2. Incumbent Development
    Each supervisor from the global automotive company received an individual development report identifying their strengths and development areas based on the assessment results. The supervisor’s leaders learned how to interpret the individual development reports, as well as how to work with their own supervisors on choosing the 2-3 competencies for near-term developmental focus.

    This assisted regional leadership with identifying the key competencies that are most critical to develop across the group of supervisors. Personalized development plans were created for each supervisor, which allowed them to customize their individual development.

  3. Talent Acquisition to Fill the Gaps
    SHL worked with a global electronics manufacturer to create an assessment, mapped to the organization’s competency framework, to identify an incumbents’ fit for a new work environment at one of its facilities. The organization needed to understand its bench strength and determine which leaders would be most likely to succeed in the more digitally focused facility.

    The individuals were assessed using a combination of behavioral and cognitive content to gauge how likely these leaders were to be successful in competencies such as learning, adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and critical thinking. These competencies identify the individuals who are going to be the most successful in digital transformation.

Learn more about SHL’s Digital Readiness Model and how we can help your organization identify the talent that is most likely to succeed in the midst of these digitally inspired transformations.

In addition, take a look at SHL’s recent blog post to see how organizations can boost their candidate attraction efforts through prioritizing brand messaging, adding realistic job/culture previews, incorporating selection assessments, and updating their interview process.

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Rob Shepard

Rob Shepard is a former Senior Talent Solutions Consultant at SHL, specializing in pre- and post-hire assessment, job analysis, workforce analytics, competency modeling, and assessment design. Rob holds an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and has over 11 years of experience partnering with clients, in a wide variety of industries, to improve individual and organizational performance through better talent management.

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