November 14, 2022

Fighting the skills gap with continuous training

It’s no secret that retirement of skilled workers has created a massive skills gap.  According to a new study by Deloitte this crisis could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. But what about the situation right now?

Forbes Magazine noted that “while the pandemic resulted in more unfilled jobs it highlighted how those currently seeking employment frequently lack the required skills”. Manufacturers reported in 2022 that finding the right talent is now 36% harder than it was in 2018. Most large manufacturers are currently predicting that within the next ten years almost all of their workforce will have to be upskilled to meet the challenges of an evolving workplace. Employee retention is a huge issue, with employee turnover costing U.S. businesses  $1 trillion every year, and individual employee replacement costs can pile up.

This looming and ever present skills crisis is further complicated by increasing supply chain disruptions, rising commodity prices, growing sustainability concerns and a more competitive marketplace which demands great operational efficiency. This means that inexperienced workers must somehow be more efficient than their most experienced predecessors for businesses to succeed.

This inexperienced workforce also threatens an increase in work-related human error that can impact safety, equipment breakdown, your company’s sustainability goals and your ability to meet your customer’s needs. The question is how do manufacturers meet the skills gap and come out on top?

Industry experts say we can’t solve this problem with the same methods we’ve been using for training and onboarding and are advocating to invest in digital training processes. The barrier for entry to skilled work needs to be lowered and this can only be done by maturing processes and providing front line teams with advanced instructions to simplify complicated environments.

The Problem of Paper Based Training

Paper based training:

  • Relies on written instructions that are difficult to understand and lead to human error
  • Doesn’t take into account different education and experience levels of workers
  • Training isn’t searchable and limited to what can fit in three ring binders
  • Requires prolonged training and supervision to onboard
  • Allows crucial tribal knowledge to walk out the door
  • Difficult to iterate and redeploy
  • Impossible to measure and quantify utility of training

Connecting Workers To Empower Front Line Teams

Paper based training’s shortcomings necessitate work heroes.  Work heroes are skilled workers with a wealth of experience who have the tribal knowledge necessary to keep inefficient processes up and running.  When they retire or change jobs, the systems they prop up begin to break. Their crucial tribal knowledge disappears, leaving many organizations crippled.  This is why Forbes forecasted that some medium to small businesses will never recover from the loss of key skilled workers.

The only way to deal with the absence of these worker heroes is to mature training and work processes to make it unnecessary to have years of experience to perform the tasks of a skilled workers.

The best way to accomplish this is to use last mile software like a Front Line or Connected Worker Platform to augment front line workers with the tools they need to do the job right the first time and radically reduce human error by making it very difficult to make mistakes.  Next we’ll look at how Atheer’s no code Front Line Worker Platform can give your front line and management the digital tools and data analytic insights you need to continuously improve training processes to meet the complexity of today's work environment.  

How Atheer can help

Atheer’s AR - powered Front Line Worker platform is specifically designed to:

  1. Improve quality of training
  2. Speed up onboarding and upskilling process
  3. Simplify a complicated, ever changing manufacturing landscape with contextually rich, easy to understand digital training so that new and experienced employees can meet company standards.
  4. Reduce human error.
  5. Capture data during work execution to continuously improve training processes

Atheer’s Front Line Worker Platform digitizes training processes to capture tribal knowledge before it walks out the door and teaches best practices to new employees with the digital connectivity and skills development opportunities the next generation of workers demand from their employers.  Atheer also make it easy to upskill experienced employees as the manufacturing environment becomes more complex and more products are manufactured on the same line.

Training is done with videos, diagrams, images and simple step specific instructions that are easy to understand no matter worker experience or education level. We’ve even made it possible to connect to digital instructions and subject matter experts through augmented reality using our new Air Anchors Technology. Pretty cool, right?

Now let’s take a look at the 7 most important ways Atheer can elevate your training:

1. Visually Appealing and Easy To Understand Instructions To Speed Onboarding

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video showing exactly how a process is done is worth even more. With Atheer you can include pictures, diagrams or video explaining every step of a process without any room for misunderstanding. This helps manufacturers where front line teams have varying degrees of education and everyone needs to quickly get on the same page quickly. The instructions are so intuitive that even contractors can do the job right the first time. With Atheer workers are supported with detailed work instructions for every task they encounter during their day which allows them to onboard quickly and work efficiently without supervision. If they run into problems they can be instantly connected to subject matter experts through our best in class AR powered remote assistance.

2. Find On Demand Training When You Need It Most

Paper based training is limited by the amount of paper that can be fit in a three ring binder. Front line teams waste time looking in the binders for the information they need because it’s not easily searchable.  With Atheer your front line can instantly find the on demand training materials they need when they need it.If workers need to rapidly change tasks they can be sent new digital instructions when the job is assigned to them and have all the digital support they need to execute the new job. This gives your workforce the agility they need to adapt to evolving work environments.  

3.  Automate Work And Training Instructions For Recurring Jobs

Atheer frees management from time wasting administrative work of assigning jobs into discrete tasks and printing out work instructions at the beginning of every day.  Atheer helps you fully automate the assignment of training materials for recurring tasks and the right job can be automatically assigned to the right worker with the right work instructions.  

4. Contextually Rich Step by Step Instructions

There are other excellent LMS programs but they don’t integrate with your work execution software.  Atheer offers machine specific instructions that can be found by scanning a barcode on the asset itself. Contextually rich instructions capture tribal knowledge specific to each machine asset. As the machine’s health degrades these instructions can be instantly updated with the latest information and redeployed. Atheer’s digital instructions are living breathing documents that evolve with your front line’s needs designed to capture tribal knowledge before it walks out the door.

5. Practical and Iterative Training Process

Atheer’s training is tested on the front line every day. Front line workers can give feedback on what helped them on the job and what was unnecessary.  Training can be eliminated or improved to fill in knowledge gaps based on front line feedback.  More senior employees can use non sequential work mode to skip steps or mark them as N/A. This gives your front line ownership over their tasks and increases job satisfaction.

Paper based training is static and unchanging and doesn’t address the individual experience or needs of your front line. This isn’t the case for dynamic digital training.  When digital training processes are changed, training videos and supporting documentation can be made quickly and easily disseminated across production lines, factories and even your whole organization within hours instead of the months it takes for changes with paper based training.

By making training a continuous experience you offer employees the skills development they need to progress in their careers. This increases retention and reduces turnover.  A 2018 LinkedIn Learning report found that 94% of employees would stay at a company if it invested in their career development.

6.  Data Driven Mentorship

Training is continuous and incorporated into the digital workflows your front line team uses to execute the jobs they have been assigned. Training materials can be included for every specific step in the workflow. Tasks are standardized to make them easier to complete. When an employee is lagging behind their coworkers, managers have the real time visibility they need to offer the mentorship and training inexperienced workers need to do their best work, because you have metrics that will show long a task should take to complete and can see when an employee is struggling.  Excelling employees can be given the positive feedback that keeps them connected to your organization and will help retain them in the future.

7.  Knowledge Retention

Atheer makes it easy to turn one time solutions created by your experts into permanent productivity gains for your entire organization.  You can use Atheer’s AirForms (digital workflows)to solve the same problem the next time it comes up. Your experts can include steps for diagnosis and resolution in the AirForm to make it easy for inexperienced workers to action expert’s solutions without having to solve it from scratch. With Atheer each problem you face is a possible learning experience for your whole organization. This knowledge retention is critical for organizations if they hope to meet the skills gap and come out on top.


The need to rapidly onboard, train and upskill new employees will only intensify for the foreseeable future. Employers need to provide inexperienced workers with the digital tools they need to bridge the skills gap. Atheer is here to help.

Atheer’s platform is device agnostic so it can be used in any of the devices your front line uses naturally in the flow of work (mobile phone, laptops, tablets and Smart Glasses.)  Atheer offers a low code/no code platform to make digitizing your training materials easy for your front line teams and supervisors without draining IT resources.

Our customer experience department is here to help you every step of the way. It’s time to free yourself from the constraints of paper based training and give your teams the tools they need to excel.

Get in touch to book a demo right away and equip your organization with the training process you need to continually improve your workforce.

Micki Collart

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