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Are You Cultivating Supply Chain Workforce Talent?

How many times have you heard a company executive say that “people are our most important resource”? One reason for this, to be honest, is the high cost of turnover. And when that turnover includes high performing employees and those with strong potential, the overall cost to the organization is usually even greater.

But how many supply chain executives think about how they could protect their most important resource, and lower costs, by identifying and nurturing the talent they already have in their organization?

One of the keys to successful talent management is knowing what you have – your “bench strength”– and managing it effectively. So your first task is to identify your top performers. These are the people with both supply chain skills and leadership qualities. For example, they may have deep knowledge in one or more supply chain disciplines, and enough expertise in the others to lead a portion of your business.

You’ll also want to determine which positions should be considered “crucial” jobs that will require a strong pipeline of talent to fill. This is where working with a recruiter who specializes in the supply chain industry can be extremely helpful. The recruiter can give you a long-term forecast of the candidate market, what skills are hot and what skills are expected to be necessary in the near future. You can then determine who in your company already possesses these skills and who will need future training to pick them up.

Third, you need to figure out the criteria for an employee to be labeled a strong performer. Who is already a star performer? Who has high potential? Who is an above average performer who could use some additional attention? These are the employees who must be effectively managed so that they’ll achieve their full potential. Or, if you don’t have enough employees in these categories, you may want to work with your recruiter to find replacements.

Finally, you need to make sure that the individuals in each category are aligned with your company’s goals. How? You need to clearly communicate your strategic business objectives across the entire company. Clarify job roles for all of your employees, and make sure they understand the ongoing value of their work to the organization. This creates a greater sense of employee ownership in your company’s ultimate success, which will lead to higher levels of engagement and better job performance.

Once your employees understand what they need to do to help achieve or contribute to your corporate goals, help them develop personal action plans to reach those goals. Help them set measureable checkpoints so you can establish accountability and both of you will know if they are on track. This will also improve retention, if the employee can see a progression in skills and responsibility.

At ZDA, we know where to find top supply chain talent – and we also know what it takes to create it.  Give us a call today if you’d like to start developing the talent you have to keep your company running strong.

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