Recently one of the most authoritative voices in the service industry, The Service Council (TSC), conducted a study to uncover how industrial manufacturing service leaders are thinking about improving customer experience, data-driven operations management, and knowledge management. One of the key elements that emerged from conversations among service executives was skill gap and the need for talent.
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The recruitment, management and retention of top talent within industrial manufacturing firms is an extremely hot topic of discussion today more than ever, due to a variety of factors including:
- Aging workforce
- Competitive job market
- The rise of millennials
It’s been well documented that there is concern over talent shortage across a variety of sectors globally. According to a recent study by Manpower, 40% of global employers report talent shortages - which is in line with pre-financial crisis data. Another key insight that emerged from this study is that the number of employers training and developing existing employees to fill open positions has doubled from one in five to over half in the last few years alone.
The good news is that employers are investing more resources into developing their own workforce rather than look outside to fill certain skill gaps. Henry Ford allegedly once said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” This statement, regardless of who its true author may be, will never lose its relevance. There is no manager who doesn’t want highly skilled specialists on their team. Furthermore, investing in your own workforce always generates positive long term effects on employee retention, employer branding, and the ability to attract new talent. The bad news is that while this is certainly true to entry level and mid-management level jobs, things look very different for senior management and leadership positions.
The majority of service leaders who participated in The Service Council study expressed some concern over the next era of service business leaders who can navigate the increasingly demanding and evolving service business environment - aka succession planning.
The TSC study identifies three key takeaways when it comes to succession planning for the service enterprise:
- Succession planning is not an event: It must take place at all times and be built into the workforce and talent process.
- Future leaders must be prepared for the future: The role as it is now is not what the role will be in the future.
- Succession planning is a strategic initiative: Apply data, governance, and process to leadership development just as you would any other critical business goal.