Retention or Attracting Talent

by Brian Cavataio 02/06/2023

We talked to a little over 1,800 people in 2022; out of the 1,800, 726 were executives for either Private Equity or Manufacturing companies. When we talked, the number one continuous answer we received as the top priority from the CEO or executive was on talent. We see that a Chief Supply Chain Officer is perhaps struggling to retain or attract talent.

I mean, this is again where it is often portrayed as a balance between the cost of employees and the retention of employees. And we need to square that circle. We need to break that mindset. We need to consider a different employee value proposition that is not just about remuneration. While that remains important, you get into a bit of a spiral here. You are losing talent because people feel overwhelmed by your organization’s fatigue; they are confident they can get a role outside. They leave, and you need to follow your CEO’s directive and look at the attraction of people. You pay them more to come into your organization, which dissatisfies the employees who are already in because they see that pay gap.

We recommend a more holistic human deal focused on the holistic needs of employees. At the heart of human value is the recognition that employees are more than just employees; they are also people. Unfortunately, while 85% of all candidates say it is vital for their employer to see them as a person, not just an employee, only 40% of the salary workers that we interviewed, so it is easy to find that in the organization they work with, so creating and delivering a human deal requires across organizational approach, definitely with your chief human resources officer. But as CSCOs, it is up to you to look at what it feels like to work in this organization.

How can I make it a better place to work, and how can I inspire the emotions of my employees that lead to them making better decisions, better performance, and higher intent to stay?

As I said, the Human Deal’s core elements are not just about increasing salary. The human deal is about re-energizing other people and overcoming the fatigue that is built up through the pandemic and the disruption by making a clear connection between employees’ contribution through their hard work to the company’s objectives by finding shared purpose; it involves creating flexibility, autonomy, deeper relationships with the people that you work with—supporting personal growth and engendering holistic well-being.

To summarize, the human deal differs from a traditional employee value proposition because we focus less on those transactional elements, just all the things an employee gets when they join an employer. And instead, we are focusing on how those elements make our employees feel. The question you may want to ask yourself. What does working at my company or supply chain organization feel like? So indeed, the details mentioned are all important. We are trying to ensure that employees feel autonomous or feel supported or feel invested in the organization, for example, but maybe of the elements that make up the human deal, is there one that has perhaps cropped up as a top priority for CSCO today?

Still, the flexibility and autonomy that companies afford their people are crucial, but it is the one that they highlight in the leadership vision. Still, an employee choosing to leave your organization is one of the ultimate expressions of their autonomy. They are walking away from you, so do not wait until that happens, offer autonomy. In their role now, whatever that role is, whether they work in a factory, office, or warehouse. Research from ADP Research Institute shows that employees who are allowed to decide when they work at 2.3 times more likely to achieve higher performance than employees without autonomy; autonomy also reduces work fatigue by nearly two times, critical for sustaining performance over time, which is one of the key things that we have highlighted as your priority as you go into 2023. And autonomy also makes people 2.3 times more likely to stay with the organization they are currently at. Front-line workers with flexibility with autonomy are essential when competing with fully staffed, talented teams and in frontline workforces. It is the single most effective investment for the retention of your employees, so supply chain leaders may want to focus on flexibility and autonomy.

So if our CEO is pushing to attract and retain, and as mentioned, flexibility is seen as the most effective way to reduce unwanted attrition, then this should be a top priority for the CSCO and Human Resource strategies. Now I would encourage CSCO to think expansively about the definition of flexibility. So we are not just thinking about the where of flexibility where employees choose to work or even just when employees get to work, but also on what employees work with whom they choose to work and how much so CSCOs will need to take a moment to reflect on that question of Do my employees feel autonomous? And is now the time to experiment, pilot, explore technologies, and advocate for greater flexibility at the C suite level and even with the board.

Let’s Talk

Find real exceptional leadership in construction now