According to Gartner, the aging workforce is one of the top challenges in the utilities industry; and as industries struggle with the skills shortages and unclear intersection between experienced and junior employees, emerging new technologies are helping to close the gap and lessen some of the pressures.
In the past, defined benefit pension plans dictated an employee’s retirement. Replacements and succession planning would coincide with this timeline, allowing time for training and knowledge transfer. However, today, most employees rely on contribution plans such as their 401(k), therefore they are working longer, and retirement dates become uncertain. When you pair this with the fact that staffing levels across the industrial industry are lower than ever before, it’s becoming more difficult for new and more junior staff to train side-by-side with experienced workers.
All that said, companies need to “start embracing technology as the best way to compensate for today’s aging workforce. This involves automating jobs and daily processes to the greatest extent that is conceivable and/or practical.”
Activities like predictive maintenance of industrial plants can now be done with wireless monitoring instruments that can cut time and cost by 50 percent. This technology automatically provides raw data to analytics software and can predict problems before they occur. This frees up employees’ time to focus on other critical job functions that require a human touch, resulting in less training on outdated tasks and functions that will not serve the business.