Supply Chain - The Evolution of Employee Retention

Having difficulty keeping your staff happy? Have a high employee turnover?

You wouldn’t be the only one having this dilemma, according to Business Reporter (Johnston, 2022) the market is showing a growing increase in vacancies within all stages of the supply chain, yet turnover is growing at a similar rate. This is a trend in both Permanent and Interim/Contract staff.  

I’m in the unique position that allows me to speak to those that are choosing to leave their jobs, and the stats don’t lie, over the last 2 years there has been a major shift in the way people think about work and their own personal wellbeing (Monster, 2022). Life isn’t planned around work anymore; work is planned around life. In my experience here are the main reasons people are leaving, and the main areas that can be improved to prevent this.

Benefits over Salary

While salary is still (and probably always will be) an important factor for most job seekers, especially considering the rising cost of living at present, the most recent trend I have noticed emerging is benefits. Benefits range from pension, bonus, healthcare, mental health days, holiday entitlement and flexibility in hours and working location. 90% of the time I am told that candidates would take a lower salary if there was a possibility of working hybrid and with flexibility in the hours they work.

Wellbeing and Mental Health Awareness

This won’t be news at this point, but personal wellbeing has been an emerging trend since the pandemic affected everyone so negatively. It highlighted how much we really did neglect our personal lives and mental health all in the name of a 9-5. Now more then ever a spotlight has been put on the importance of personal wellbeing. This is more then likely due to the overwhelming amount of people affected during the pandemic, especially those who may not have ever faced mental health difficulties before. Mind conducted a survey and a staggering 80% of those surveyed suffered mental distress within the last two years (MIND, 2021). If you don’t have anything in place to support mental health or personal wellbeing now is a great time to implement it, it makes a difference for your staff, and is shown to help with retention. A great Resource we personally use at work is Everymind, it’s a great resource for businesses, easy to use and has plenty of tips on how to manage everyday anxieties in the workplace and at home.  

Involvement and Feedback

One way of ensuring your staff feel included and heard is to include them in as much as you can. Be that asking for their opinions and suggestions with an open-door policy, or keeping them informed of any changes, news, and goings on in the business. This is 101 of change management, the more people feel included the more they are accepting of said changes, even if they can’t have a say on it, keeping them informed stops surprises along the way and makes it easier to manage. Employees know the business better than anyone else, they will notice things you don’t failing to utilise this not only makes employees feel unheard but stops a line of communication that could greatly benefit your business.

Systems, Systems, Systems.

For those in the back that didn’t hear me, Systems. The tools you use direct your employees, ease of use. Simplification, centralisation of resources, programs that make it easier on your employees and take out the stress of having to do 5 things to complete on task. You can’t set objectives and goals then neglect to give them the tools to accomplish the task. This gives people more empowerment over their roles, removes stressors from their day-to-day work, and improves engagement and overall morale (Lott, 2021). While an important factor for employee retention, this is also just an important factor from a business perspective, having the right tools and processes in place increases productivity and the bottom line, so really this is a win-win from both sides.

The Hands-on Management Approach

I feel this should be a no brainer, but that’s not always the case. Management needs to be seen and not just heard. There is no need to have a disconnect between higher management with everyone else. Taking a hands-on approach with your employees at all levels will cultivate a positive culture your company. It fosters an environment of understanding, mutual respect, and communication that you can’t reach over email and company newsletters. The majority of the candidates I speak to when asked what they want from their next job role, is management that is supportive, cultivates a good culture and are people focused, this is not achievable from just a computer screen.

Don’t just take my word for it many companies including Monster and CIPS have investigated the reasons why turnover is increasing, feedback from employees all over the world concur with a lot of these points CIPS (CIPS, 2022).
What is your take on this, have you had the same feedback, or is there anything that could be added to this? I would love to hear your comments on it.

CIPS. (2022, May 20). Why up to eight in 10 supply chain workers plan to quit. Retrieved from CIPS: CIPS 8/10 supply chain workers plan to quit
Johnston, D. (2022, September 07). Supply Chain Turnover: Why hourly workers need your ear. Retrieved from Business Reporter: Why hourly workers need your ear
Lott, E. (2021, November 6). How to Incraease Supply Chain productivity through employee engagement? Retrieved from IT Supply Chain: How to increase supply chain productivity
MIND. (2021, July 2021). Coronavirus: the consequences for mental health . Retrieved from Mind: Consequences of COVID on mental health
Monster. (2022, January 28). The Future of Work 2022: The global talent competition is on. Retrieved from Monster: market intelligence trends
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