A recent study by Seagull Scientific, creators of BarTender, found the supply chain trends that industry professionals are relying on to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and create more resilient and efficient networks.
Why Diversification is Key
The COVID-19 pandemic showed the inefficiencies of outdated supply chain networks and challenged the industry to adapt to new technologies to remain efficient. Many supply chain networks still struggle to adapt to the latest equipment and business tools, in part, due to a lack of skilled professionals who can fully utilize those tools. According to the Seagull Scientific study, “To introduce agility and flexibility into today’s complex supply chain environments, organizations require diverse, collaborative professionals that can make critical decisions and implement new technologies that streamline operations.” To take full advantage of the new software and technologies available to supply chain networks, companies need to diversify their skilled workforce to promote new ideas and innovative thinking. Stagnant executives may be late to adapt to new technologies and fall behind in the marketplace. In contrast, an executive level with diverse perspectives is more likely to recognize opportunities for improvement.
Women in supply chain management and other executive levels are particularly underrepresented. Seagull Scientific reports, “New research indicated that women provide a key advantage in boosting supply chain collaboration and efficiency.” Women are more likely to be driven by collaboration and cooperation and can bring new and valuable perspectives to the workplace. Hiring more women in supply chains and diversifying teams at all levels can open more opportunities for recognizing efficiencies and innovative thinking.
Strategies for Recruitment and Retention
There are various strategies that companies are utilizing to recruit and retain skilled employees across all levels of supply chains. As the culture of work changes, skilled employees are searching for opportunities that work for their lifestyle and work-life balance. Offering these employee value propositions (EVPs) can make a company a competitive workplace in high demand for skilled employees.
- Showcasing your company’s diversity, particularly at the executive level, is a great way to attract diverse candidates. Women who see other women succeeding in the industry will be more likely to consider their opportunities with your company. Start DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives to attract and retain diverse candidates. There are many opportunities to recognize and celebrate the diversity of a workplace and its employees. DEI initiatives are a compelling EVP for the most competitive companies in 2022.
- Access to professional development opportunities and training resources is another highly sought-after EVP for skilled workers. Establishing clear and lucrative career paths for new hires can help retain your workforce and create new opportunities for your employees for promotion or career exploration within your company. Many highly competitive companies offer their employees free access to online training courses that can help them develop their professional skills and improve their work performance. Offering clear paths to promotion and opportunities for development will retain employees seeking long-term success within the industry.
- Health benefits are always critical for employees; now, more and more companies offer generous health benefits to recruit skilled workers. Competitive businesses offer mental health benefits, ample insurance options, extended maternity leave, competitive PTO, and more to support and retain their employees. These healthcare benefits are among the essential EVPs that skilled workers search for in job opportunities.
These are just a few of the strategies that supply chain leaders are implementing to diversify and improve their workforces. A diverse, skilled workforce paired with upgraded technology and organizational systems is key to creating a more agile and resilient supply chain.