My followers and newsletter readers know that I’m a big promoter of the logistics profession. It’s a very important job and an exhausting profession, especially for those working in operations and procurement. So my eyes were caught up by the McKinsey study (you can find more on this here), which revealed that 40% of employees are somewhat likely to leave their job.
So I thought this result could be even worse within the supply chain and logistics community as those took the biggest hits during the pandemics. I’m talking about rescheduling, lack of transportation, looking for new suppliers, etc. It never was easy, but the pandemics put a tremendous burden on their shoulders.
We did a survey and would like to share the results with you. Additionally, I would like to ask you to participate in the survey, as at the moment, results come from operational professions, and we want to expand and later create a separate analysis for countries and professions. Therefore, I invite you to take the survey. It’s straightforward, and you will need only 5 minutes to complete it (You can find the survey here).
Please see the first findings and comments below.
We will not go very deep with demographic here. Still, it’s important to understand that 39 % of recipients are based out of Europe, 25 % out of the USA, 10 % out of the Middle East, 10% out of Australia, 5 % from South Africa, and the rest 11% from various other locations.
70 % of recipients came from various logistics companies, and the rest 30% came from trading, manufacturing, and retail.
As you can see from the diagram below, more than 70% of respondents think of leaving the job within 3-6 months. However, one shocking thing which needs attention is that 18 % of the respondents are almost certain to leave, and the rest, 18 % are likely to leave their current jobs.
When we asked why they are thinking of leaving, the top answer is that employees feel burned out. The other top answers were: Too much work, too long working hours, no developement, and incompetent management.
We found some good news from the study as well. Only 12% of recipients will leave without a job, so companies still have time to make some improvements. When we asked if there was something the company could do to change your decision, only 15 % said no. Others provided some obvious things the management could do to retain them.
So is it worth improving the culture and conditions of employees?
Undoudbtfully, the answer is yes. Companies not only need to find ways to retain the best employees (more on this you can find here) but need to invest funds in making the logistics profession more attractive for future generations. It is not an easy and fast initiative, but it’s completely doable.
I noticed that logistics companies are working on various employers’ branding initiatives without realizing what they want to achieve, how to measure results, and why they are doing this. SMEs take the easiest path of paying bigger salaries, starting by doing something and thinking that this will ensure employees will not leave. The other difficulty is related to the old wolves of the company, who stayed with it for many years. They often have their own rules, zero tolerance, and flexibility and look at newcomers as a threat or burden. In other words, many miss out on the key thing that employers branding is related to creating a great place to work for best fitting employers and not imitating the best place to work.
For this to happen, they first need to understand their employees, current brands situation, their company’s culture, identify or create their unique value proposition and develop an open culture. And only then does the tactical side of marketing and human resources kick in.
The key traits of a good company are obvious: Value your employees, create great working conditions, endorse open culture, enable developement possibilities, involve your employees in the decision-making process, create a community and make them special.
Sounds easy, but for this to happen, a total remake of companies’ cultures needs to be done in many cases. Moreover, this initiative takes time, commitment, and hard work from HR, marketing, and top and middle management. And this is exactly why such kinds of initiatives fail; most of the time, organizations are looking for fast gains and do not have enough patience for execution or too little attention from top management.
The other difficulty is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, as every organization is different and needs a different strategical and tactical approach.
What short-term and long-term solutions to apply?
Logistics organizations should reinvent their business processes in the short term, separating value-added activities and nonvalue-adding activities. Then big companies could open satellite offices in developing countries and other employer-rich hubs. Smaller companies could outsource non-value-added activities to third parties. Or find junior-level positions with development options.
The other short-term thing is related to tech. Organizations need to screen all available automation solutions or develop them. In such cases, companies can eliminate repetitive tasks and make employees happier. Repetitive tasks are morale destroyers, and there are many to be eliminated in logistics, like quoting, booking, data entry, etc. Moreover, many other tech solutions could improve your employees’ lives and morale.
The other short-term solution is to start investing in employers’ branding. Again, this advice is not for all. Employers’ branding costs a lot in both funds and commitment. If your organization is not ready yet, it’s better to look for smaller and faster gains.
And if talking about the long term. Logistics businesses need to understand that logistics is not seen as a sexy profession anymore. Moreover, there is a skill shift in the industry as the industry is becoming digital. Therefore organizations will need employees with completely different skill sets. Therefore we recommend that medium and big companies form alliances and invest in making the profession sexy again and reskilling their employees. We are working on a project in this field and will inform you later what we are up to.
Thank you for reading. Suppose your organization is working on employers’ branding initiatives or would like to find ways to make their operations more efficient with the help of tech. Please hit the link below and arrange a time to talk with me.
P.s. If your organization is already in a super bad position with many openings and staling business, book a time with me. I will share insights on how you could benefit from opening satellite offices or outsourcing some parts to third parties.
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