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  January 14th, 2024 | Written by

8 Strategies for Empowering Emerging Talent in the Supply Chain Industry

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Some supply chain industry companies need help attracting new talent. Executives can turn this around by making opportunities more appealing to applicants. 

Although improving job-specific details like pay is crucial to future employees, they’ll also appreciate employers who provide training for the workplace and their lives.

1. Make Hours More Flexible

Supply chain management teams should consider letting their teams have flexible hours. Recent research shows that when given the opportunity, 87% of employed adults chose flexible work schedules over those requiring 40 hours in an office each week.

Employees could agree to set their schedules at least a week or two in advance so everyone knows who will be at work and who will be remote during specific dates. It makes modern workplaces more competitive than employers with strictly traditional schedules. 

Supply chain companies can empower their teams to get more joy from their employment by appealing to a broader audience of workers and future hires.

2. Provide Career Growth Plans

Forward momentum is key to retaining employees. No one enjoys feeling stuck in a job. They want to improve their skills and gain promotions as rewards for their efforts. Communication is the best way to ensure this career growth occurs for talent in the supply chain industry.

Management teams could create general growth plans for specific roles within their organization. The employees in those positions can trace their way up the company ladder based on which departments they want to work within as the months and years pass. 

People who see their potential future charted before their eyes will know they have the forward momentum required for a long-term career.

3. Update Teams Regularly on Automation

Researchers with the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health noted that employees of all ages feel worried that automation will replace them, but that anxiety is especially prevalent among young people. They have many years ahead to work, pay their bills, save for retirement and enjoy their jobs. Supply chain employers must communicate their job security with regular updates on the industry’s automation.

Recurring meetings present opportunities to discuss the latest technological updates to work processes and explain why they’re necessary. The core of each gathering should focus on how each employee will remain on the team even with machine-focused optimization. 

People feel empowered when they have job security because they know their efforts won’t become a waste of time.

4. Provide a Scholarship Program

Young people often hear that getting a college education is the best way to secure a comfortable paycheck. However, 75% of people choosing not to attend college are opting out because they can’t afford it. They may feel like they’ll never make a livable wage because they can’t get a degree, but employers can erase that anxiety with scholarship programs.

Scholarship programs are life-changing financially and empowering personally. They show employees they are worth more than paycheck and benefits. Their dreams are worth pursuing, which they may not hear from people or organizations outside the workplace.

One company that hosts a scholarship program recently awarded two women with money to help them through college. As a result, Elayne Blancas received financial support as she worked to become the first in her family to graduate as an engineer. Elizabeth Landers was able to apply to more residencies with the goal of providing healthcare in her home state of Oklahoma. Communities will benefit from their support while the company providing the scholarship creates opportunities for aspiring professionals. 

5. Demonstrate How Their Teams Help the Environment

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) plans are more important to the modern workforce. They demonstrate an employer’s commitment to the planet and their communities through sustainable, compassionate business practices defined in ESG policies.

Research shows that 41% of employees want to work for companies with ESG plans, which includes one in four people in Gen Z. Leadership teams can formulate actionable plans regarding how their supply chain company can improve the planet, give back to its community, support employees and commit itself to the highest ethical business standards.

Publishing these commitments on the company website and posting them around the building reminds team members that everyone wants the same thing. They’ll support their employer more enthusiastically and feel heard, resulting in a desire to stay with the company.

6. Implement Recurring Raise Schedules

The annual inflation rate rises and falls, but it reached a peak of 8% in 2022. It makes everything from groceries to utilities more expensive, which is discouraging for people who aren’t receiving recurring raises.

Some employers don’t promise raises on a specific schedule, but doing so could help retain emerging talent in the supply chain industry. Scheduling an annual raise for each employee — unless their job performance takes a drastic turn for the worse — makes their futures brighter if they stay with the company longer. They know they’ll be able to keep up with the cost of living, providing peace of mind and financial stability.

7. Schedule Individual Growth Meetings

Workplace leaders can always meet with team members one-on-one to plan their futures. These meetings create time to ask big questions like:

  • What does the employee want to do with their career?
  • How do they want to use the skills they’re learning?
  • How would their work feel more fulfilling?

It’s nearly impossible to make these changes without employer support. Management teams could rearrange schedules to allow more study time for ongoing learning or connect employees with in-house mentors so they learn from those they look up to.

When these meetings occur, leaders should record the desired path forward within the company on a shared document. Employees can reflect on their short- and long-term plans to feel empowered and stay with the company longer.

8. Celebrate Everyone’s Successes

Recognition is vital in the workplace. People need to know their employers value their efforts and cheer them on. Pizza parties and gift cards are always options, but financial incentives through bonuses are equally — if not more — essential to employees.

Celebrate them as individuals in private meetings and as teams. Leaders can call out people’s accomplishments so everyone applauds. The widespread recognition bonds employees and makes them feel valued. They’ll continue making an effort to help their supply chain employer, which supports everyone who depends on the company for a living.

Empower Talent in the Supply Chain Industry

Companies should always seek opportunities to work with their team members more effectively. Empowering emerging talent in the supply chain industry with these ideas is an excellent start. They’ll show employees their value, forge stronger relationships and make people want to stay with their employers longer by supporting everyone differently.