The Importance of L&D for blue-collar workers

ICOG - 12-Sep-2022

Last Monday, the US celebrated Labor Day - an annual tradition to appreciate all workers. While the first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 when most workers were blue-collar workers, it still maintains the same sentiment. 

Yet in today’s high-tech world, it is possible to overlook blue-collar workers, especially when it comes to learning and development as they don't work in an office or have a desk job. But blue-collar workers still need to learn new skills to keep their current jobs and advance within their field. 


Traditional training methods for blue collar employees

Just because L&D is going digital, it doesn’t mean that old-school industries with blue-collar employees must ignore it. Be it machinery or processes, everything is constantly changing, and so every employee must be continually learning and developing as well.

Blue-collar workers usually get their training in traditional formats as well - paper or PDFs. However, these come with some glaring drawbacks. 


  • Paper instructions are standardized, and one-size-fits-all. This aspect makes it an
    impersonal form of learning.
  • Traditional formats are harder to track and update. Therefore, organizations cannot
    know whether every worker has received the latest training material. 
  • Such methods of training are also one-directional. This does not allow for any
    interaction or collecting feedback.

Learning and development is important for blue-collar workers because organizations need them to stay current with trends in their industries. This not only helps organizations to retain their employees, but they can better serve customers and increase revenues as well.


Digital solutions to offer learning opportunities

Using digital methods to offer training and development via digital learning platforms can ensure that your blue-collar employees are receiving training that is:


  • Personal - Learning platforms offer personalized training so that each employee is able
    to learn in the way that suits them best. Blue-collar employees can be highly varied in
    their skill sets having different educational backgrounds, so offering personalized
    learning solutions is really beneficial.
  • Updatable - Training and learning content can be updated to take into account new
    machinery or processes, so current employees can rather be upskilled instead of being
  • Measurable - As learning platforms digitally track all user behavior, the employees as
    well as the organization can obtain valuable insights into the training and development
  • Interactive - The interactive nature of learning platforms makes it easy to promote
    two-way communication. In some industries, it can be more important to collect
    continuous feedback from blue-collar employees as they are better placed to spot
    bottlenecks and offer suggestions to improve processes.

While we may think that automation is going to significantly decrease blue collar jobs, that is not the case. There is a foreseeable shortage of such employees as the baby boomers are retiring; and it will be more challenging for organizations to find new blue-collar employees than it is to retain the in-house employees and provide them with the best tools to improve their digital literacy.


Contact us to find out how you can celebrate your blue-collar employees by offering them relevant, updated learning and development opportunities via a personalized interactive learning platform like ICOG!


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