Today, there's a dearth of experienced employees to fill middle management positions. Currently, it is a small pinch to the organization, but eventually it will become a big problem.
Unfortunately, many enterprises seem to be unaware of the looming and imminent talent shortage, even with many current signs pointing in that direction. It's time, now, to find a solution.
Identifying the problem
Not long ago, Jennifer Baljko reported for EBN on The Generational Crossover of Supply Chain Professional. According to some other reports, we see there is a very little attention given to middle management. Not surprising. Supply Chain Insights conducted a study (Feb-Jul 2013), and found that the highest shortage is in middle management, representing 49% of the total supply chain talent deficiency, whereas the entry level positions account for just 40%, and the executive level for a mere 6%.
Without a doubt, there is a need for cross-functional skill development for mid-management supply chain leaders. It's about time supply chain leaders took some serious time to rethink supply chain talent, unless they want this already endangered species to disappear.
Applying successful solutions
Here there are three valuable recommendations which I have summarized from an insightful report by Supply Chain Insight offers several valuable recommendations. (If you'd like to see the full PDF report, click here.) The recommendations aim to help supply chain leaders fight the growing shortage of supply chain mid-management:
- Make current employees feel valued: To achieve satisfaction among current employees, you should work on internal issues to make mid-management supply chain leaders feel more valued. Eliminate political issues with supply chain planning; this often reduces job satisfaction. Develop training programs to alleviate turnover, and make employees feel more valued. When you value the mid-management, you get incredible ROI results.
- Build a human resources plan to focus on the elements that matter in recruiting: Competing on salary will not be enough. Companies need to build a reputation based on the attractiveness of the company, as well as the role of the supply chain group within the organization, in order to attract and retain key talent for mid-management positions.
- Build robust cross-training programs: According to a survey, only 23% of companies incorporated a structures cross-training program for existing employees. The areas where cross-training is offered are usually distribution, manufacturing, and marketing. However, the largest gaps are found in strategy (-69%), and finance (-57%).
Mid-management supply chain has been taken for granted for a long time. Now human resource plans need to be adapted to include cross-training, and skill development to try to change the future, and don't allow talent to become the supply chain's missing link.