Competing in the logistics space in 2022, and beyond, will challenge the best of companies. Last year was something akin to scurrying and responding to supply chain disruptions on the fly. Most companies survived, and some did remarkably well.
This year will be different. It promises to be a year where the leaders who to embrace the New Normal separate themselves from the pack. These industry leaders will do so because they recognize the ground-breaking transformation underway.
More than that, they know what resources and capabilities they need to prepare for the New Normal. In acquiring those resources and capabilities, they will separate themselves from the pack.
This blog post identifies three key resources and capabilities for the future. This post analyzes your workforce- your most valuable resource. The next post will look at the tools you need to navigate the New Normal. Then in a third post, we’ll explore the role of leadership in the New Normal.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
The Most Valuable Resource. The first resource is your people. It’s often stated that people are the greatest resource a company has. Employees, although, may consider that to be more talk than substance, and many of them might be right.
A business without employees is nothing. So, employees are at the core of any business. So, what’s involved in making the most of this most valuable resource?
Three things stand out that every business must do. First, must hire qualified workers. Second, businesses my train their workers. Third, businesses must keep their workers.
That sounds simple enough. But as you well know, accomplishing these three things is challenging.
In today’s’ uncertain, volatile, and fast-paced environment, hiring qualified people is paramount. Finding qualified college graduates is more challenging today than before. That’s because many curricula are still teach outdated courses of instruction. Or they’re in the middle of updating their programs.
They were suitable for pre-pandemic times. In the New Normal, colleges and universities must provide more relevant education. General logistics education is valuable to a point. Today’s logistics programs must focus on more technical courses and offer internships that address the real-world.
So, programs must change to reflect a changing industry. Alternative courses must prepare students for new careers, such as data science, business intelligence, and data mining. Some programs have already adapted and have outstanding supply chain management programs. Others are changing, striving to keep up with change, as we’re seeing with the rise of robotics.
Regardless, graduates will require lifelong learning. Change in business processes, customer expectations, and technology drive the need for lifelong learning. That may come as on-the-job training, independent study, or master’s degree programs
That brings us to training. Lifelong learning isn’t new. Human resource professionals and others have broached the value of training for a long time. But substance to support that was lacking.
That is no longer the case.
To ensure your employees can deal with today’s uncertainty and volatility, you should equip them with that in mind. Training should focus on the ability to adapt/adjust at a moment’s notice. Your workforce must be proactive, not reactive. That makes training an overarching component of nurturing your most valuable resource.
You must exploit all forms of training. Examples include online, off-line, in-house, formal, informal, sponsored, and non-sponsored. It critical your workers can perform the jobs in which they work. That means proficiency and specialized training are important. That said, it doesn’t prevent the need to train employees for future leadership positions. Those employees would need more broad-based and less job-specific training and education. Done right, a well-trained workforce will be a motivated workforce.
Keeping your employees is a challenge. It costs more to hire someone that it does to keep an employee. Retention depends on hiring the right person at the start. There must be a good fit. Second, you must nurture your employees and give them opportunities for advancement.
On a final note, they must have a clear career path that gives them something to strive for and look forward to. Of course, salary and benefits play are large role. That brings us to the need to develop a comprehensive benefits plan. Such a plan would include training, education, and career advancement. It would also give your employees the freedom to make lateral moves based on their interests. Any comprehensive benefits plan must be mutually beneficial.
To ensure your company maintains its competitive edge, your workforce must be flexible. So, now you must view your personnel as strategic assets. That is, you must see how they support and enhance your company’s mission. And you must focus on the long-term.
Navigating the New Normal With Confidence and Success
Competing in today’s disruptive market environment calls for a new approach. It calls for a
strategic approach to human resource management. To win in today’s marketplace, you must do several things. You must properly recruit, train, and compensate your most valuable resource.
Now, we should view logistics and supply chain management not as a job, but as a profession. That change in view is already underway. Now all that remains is for companies to put programs in place to support that view.
At American Global Logistics, we have the specialized workforce you’re looking for. Logistics is our business. So, it’s no wonder we have the right people for today’s complex jobs you might not have in-house.
Contact us today to find out how we can supplement your workforce with the resources and capabilities you need to navigate the New Normal.