Life in the Blue-Collar Workforce: Commonalities of a High Performing, Upskilled Frontline Workforce

As the Indian economy reopens after the lockdown phase and businesses find their footing, there could be a 50% rise in the demand for blue-collar workers.

The term ‘blue-collar’ was first used for trade jobs in 1924. It stems from the blue colour of the denim or chambray shirts that were a part of the uniforms.

It is estimated that India is home to around 300 million blue-collar workers. The BetterPlace Blue-Collar Report 2021 noted that as the Indian economy reopens after the lockdown phase and businesses find their footing, there could be a 50% rise in the demand for blue-collar workers.

This is applicable across different industrialised states, like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra, in particular, will account for the highest share (at 17%) of the total demand.
The most popular roles are medical sales representatives, sewing machine operators, security and facility management personnel, customer care executives, drivers and delivery executives.

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While the white-collar workforce is the suit-and-ties workers who sit behind desks, the blue-collar counterparts get their hands dirty on the field. Before you hire, here are a few traits of a high-performing upskilled blue-collar workforce you should investigate.

  • In-Depth Perception

Precision and accuracy are a must, especially for construction workers. It can reduce bias and errors and offer the most reliable results. These can lower the chances of miscommunication with contractors too.

It helps the worker build a safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing building. This eliminates unnecessary expenses like over-ordering materials and exceeding the budget.

Further, an upskilled construction worker must be able to follow the plans and make smart decisions wherever required. It saves you from creating a building with doors a foot off the ground or stairs out of nowhere.

  • Time Management

Studies have found that 1 in 8 (12.5%) people never feel in control at work. But managing time is an extremely useful soft skill for an upskilled blue-collar workforce.

Be it a delivery executive, cab driver or mechanic, time management can boost the effectiveness of the whole team and help reach the project objectives. Time management includes a few key elements like:

– Organisation
– Prioritising
– Problem-solving
– Delegation and
– Strategic planning

It translates to the ability to create enough time to finish all tasks without compromising on quality or feeling stressed. Mastering each will help a blue-collar worker gain more work opportunities and waste less time on trivial activities.

  • Experience with Tools

Frontline workers must be highly familiar with the equipment used in their respective fields. This is because it can optimise business performance while closing gaps in knowledge.

In a fast- changing, tech-driven and challenging industry, having a fair idea of a toolbox will help the worker get their jobs done better and faster. This can subsequently help in generating better revenuse for your business.

For instance, mining tools include dragline excavators, dozers, blast hole drills, shovels, high wall miners, graders and bucket-wheel excavators. Make sure the ones you hire to extract coal and chalks have extensive knowledge of each one.

  • Manual Coordination

Most blue-collar jobs require bending, standing, digging, lifting and climbing. So, look for upskilled individuals who are able to grasp and assemble efficiently at a quick pace.

Be it the production line, construction site, electrical or plumbing installers, petrol pump operators or elevator managers, check if they possess multi-limb coordination skills.

This, coupled with robust physical strength and stamina and uninterrupted focus, make for high-end commercial or industrial blue-collar employees.

Ensuring the above-mentioned skills beforehand can assure greater transparency and offer an edge over your competitors. Other than these, see if they are hardworking, pay attention to details and are intelligent and honest.

BetterPlace offers a powerful HRMS platform on which your blue-collar workforce can get ready access to learning modules. Companies using this platform for upskilling have successfully made training their blue-collar workforce an engaging, productive, and empowering experience. Contact us to know more.

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