Dealing with employment has never been an easy task for supply chain leaders. Recent challenges like the Great Resignation (also known as the Great Renegotiation), quiet quitting (workers doing the bare minimum), and the "soft life" (people that frequently start, stop, and start a job again) are causing headaches across the supply chain industry and beyond. What can supply chain and logistics companies do to navigate these challenges? During a roundtable educational session at the 2022 CSCMP EDGE Conference, Brian Gibson, executive director of Auburn University's Center for Supply Chain Innovation, along with 40+ attendees, offered strategies to help address current and future labor shortages.
The biggest common denominator that Gibson noted when he asks workers why they have left a job is a person's direct supervisor/boss. Who you put in front of your new hires makes a world of difference when it comes to attrition. Gibson and session attendees agreed that organizations should do more to have the right leaders on-board new hires.
The first 90 days are the most critical. One company conducted a recent retention experiment with their newly hired drivers. They had half of the new hires work with drivers based on seniority while the other half on-boarded with drivers (regardless of their years of experience) who were excited to work specifically with new employees. It came as no surprise when 90 days later the enthusiastic leaders retained a higher percentage of their new hires than those drivers who were chosen by seniority to on-board the new people.
Yet even if you have your best people recruiting and on-boarding new employees, there are other strategic to consider as you tackle your labor and talent issues. Here's a snapshot of the ideas presented during the roundtable discussion:
Whatever the challenges you face within your supply chain when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, Gibson suggests that you remember to be relatable, give your workers value and purpose and proper training, and don't be afraid to get creative.