Employee retention has become a top priority at many supply chain organizations, especially as competition for top employees heats up.
When you lose your best employees, business-critical knowledge can walk out the door with them. So how can you keep them engaged and happy at your company?
The Mathematics of Retention
Many organizations ask the wrong questions, like, “What should our retention goals be?” and “What is an appropriate level of employee turnover?” Looking at the numbers, if an organization loses five percent of its top performers every year, this turnover could be devastating to the company. If, on the other hand, the company is losing 20 percent of its least productive employees, this could actually be beneficial to the organization.
In other words, it’s not just about retention— it’s about retaining the best people at every level of your supply chain organization. And the key to effective retention is to determine the factors that will keep them engaged, make sure those factors are in place.
What Will Engage Supply Chain Employees?
Research has shown that employee motivation is not always linked to money. Praise from managers and opportunities to lead projects are two common answers in employee engagement surveys. What else can you do?
Engagement comes from employees being involved with and enthusiastic about their work and the company. Try concentrating on these three areas:
Career: Employees need to see that working for you will give them the opportunity to grow their careers through promotions, rotations and significant assignments. Having defined career paths and communicating those to your employees is crucial. Show them that you want to invest in their career development.
Competence: Competence, or the ability to grow, is a major component of career development—and productivity. And employee competence comes from giving them opportunities to learn and apply the learning in real life tasks. Most employees will welcome competence-boosting opportunities that will allow them stretch and improve their marketable skills and learn new ones. Employees who know that their current jobs are helping them stay marketable will stay engaged.
Care: This may sound oddly “warm and fuzzy” in the supply chain environment, but managers need to be able to show sensitivity and empathy. If an employee has to leave work to take care of family issues, do you ease their minds about taking the time off? Do you keep an eye on workloads and try to alleviate stress when it occurs? There are many daily gestures that show employees you care about them, not just the bottom line. And genuine caring deepens engagement.
Engagement should happen at all levels of a company, from senior level to entry level employees. Creating a workplace of engaged employees will mean higher productivity, less turnover and better results.
At ZDA, we know all about results. We provide supply chain employers across the country with skilled, experienced supply chain employees that have been pre-screened for your supply chain positions. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more!