By Rachel K. Carson, MarCom for Process Industries
Did you know that millennials have overtaken Gen-X’ers to become the largest demographic in the American workforce? Employers everywhere are currently experiencing a “workforce transformation”; a generational shift of millennials, that are more than entering the workforce, they are dominantly taking it over. In 2015, Millennials (ages 18 to 34) surpassed Gen Xers (35 to 50) as the largest demographic in the US workforce.
Welcoming the millennials into the mining field
The age of the incoming amateur professional is radically changing the dynamic between mining corporations and the way jobs are functioned. Just as the abundance of readily available information has inflated the expectations of the industry’s customers, it has also inflated the expectations of their current and future employees. Therefore, it is more imperative than ever that mining companies are conscientious about this change and how the wealth of information, kept and maintained by the older leaving workforce, is sustained within the roles and transferred to the incoming workforce.
For example, some issues companies need to recognize in this workforce evolution:
- The new age of the customer and worker expect readily-available information
- Information gaps can occur
- Technology applies to all aspects of digitalization in their daily lives
- How the gap is bridged will determine the future of business direction
Keeping afloat with the change…
The Digital Mining Transformation allows for a smooth and seamless transition of best practices, capabilities, etc. to the next generation workforce. Technology allows for easier knowledge transfers and collaboration. Due to the low to no chances of incoming millennials replacing experienced personnel with as much knowledge and experience, digitalization allows for the information to be safely stored and utilized (not escaping or lost in generation shift).
Digital transformation allows mining industry companies, who were not once digitalized, to adapt to a new technological era full of advancements and technologies to advance business practice. The benefit of the millennial workforce evolution is their knowledge and comfortable behavior to technological advancements. Growing up with high tech graphical effects technology found in video games, movies, and apps means they are acclimated to such technical matter and know better, than the previous workforce generation, how to use and drive them well for best business practice and success. Being more attuned and better accustomed to adjusting to technological changes and advancements more quickly and swiftly allows new workers to be trained quickly, provides safer business measures, and enhances overall functionality of mining operations
What Advancements Does the Next Generation Bring to the Table?
This generation brings superior advancements and technologies that are revolutionizing the industry:
- Mobile Applications
- Enable users to view data and KPIs on mobile devices and tablets for real-time decision making
- Consistently deliver execution of best practices for data collection during safety, maintenance, and environment inspections
- Promote digital collaboration through digitizing SOPs and workflows, including mobility and procedural enforcement, and allowing collaboration on multi-user planning scenarios
- Augmented Reality (AR) Software
- Recognizes equipment and process areas, and superimposes real-time data and virtual objects then go onto them
- Enhances the concept of operator training simulators
- Can be used to train new employees on an emulation built in HMI or DCS environment with the underlying controls to recreate the response to a real world upset
- Connects to first principles models which obey actual thermal and hydraulic constraints of the process
Curious to know more? Download the on-demand recording.
On August 30th, Doug Warren outlined the importance of workforce transformation in Digital Mining Transformation webinar. He explains why the new generation of workforce in is transforming the mining industry by storm, causing mining companies to rethink and readapt to the new generation of workers and apply digital applications to stay afloat of technological change and progress. He also explains how workforce transformation plays an important part of one of the four pillars to the digital mining transformation. Download now to learn more.