How do you define skills? The ability to perform a role well is perhaps what springs to mind first and foremost. But progressive companies know that the most valuable employees are also accomplished in interpersonal skills such as communication; decision making; time management; the ability to work under pressure; adaptability; and negotiation – all of which are required to succeed in the Industry 4.0 environment.

Most companies recognise the importance of a structured and methodical induction process; if only as a framework to advise a new employee on what’s expected of them during their probationary period. All too often however training for staff who have been in post for some time falls by the wayside. A common barrier is that it’s seen by factory owners as taking a significant number of man (or woman) hours from the day job.

Done well a robust approach to training can create an environment where the team is adept at contributing more: from an intuitive approach to problem solving to getting things done through more effective relationships.

So what does ‘done well’ look like?

Like the factory owner, the team may be reticent about participating – particularly if it means workloads mounting up in the meantime. Staff need reassurance that the training they’re receiving isn’t just as a box-ticking exercise (which can often be the case with compliance training). There are a number of ways of achieving this:

  • Relevance: making the training applicable to the roles.
  • Professionalism: a professional training course will have a clear agenda, outcomes and practical exercises. Even better, a certificate of attendance – whilst a seemingly small gesture – can help staff to recognise the training as meaningful. The CPD Certification Service is the UK’s leading independent continuing professional development accreditation and can offer some guidance in this area.
  • Internal champions: creating a core team of internal trainers is not only a cheaper alternative to hiring external contractors, it’s one of the best ways of quickly championing a new approach to training.
  • Personal development: there’s no better way to get staff commitment than to align learning to career progression. Working together to agree a training plan with an individual during their annual appraisal creates a shared responsibility between manager and employee to make that happen.
  • Acknowledgement: building a knowledge bank not only celebrates the achievements of those most committed to their own personal development; it sends out a very clear message to the staff and investors of today and tomorrow that yours is a company with a very tangible commitment to its workforce.

Invest in your staff and they will invest in you for many years to come.

To find out more about Cimteq’s own work in this area, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq,

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