become more entrepreneurial: They’re
thinking on their own. And they feel like
there is more reward in the job.”
Another strategy is to give workers
“opportunities that are tied to their
development plan, so they can grow
and try new things,” Edmisten says.
For example, he says, “have the high-potentials help you develop a strategic
plan for the organization that ties
into the strategic plan for the whole
company — that’s powerful, and it
engages them in what they’re doing.”
It’s also important to provide challenges.
“Most companies are reluctant to
delegate tasks to employees, especially
smaller companies where the boss
wants to run everything,” Cappelli says.
However, he adds, “the best way to
develop people is to give them bigger
tasks to do.”
Other inspiration and retention strategies:
Catering to a variety of work styles.
As the profession evolves and younger
generations enter the workforce, it’s
imperative that supply managers
recognize and cater to different learning
and work styles, Edmisten says.
Training. Training is considered an
important talent-development strategy,
despite companies devoting small
budgets to it. Nevertheless, through
training and development programs,
companies can help employees develop
and prepare for the future. They can also
help bridge skills gaps. According to
the Deloitte survey, 71 percent of CPOs
said that in 2017, they planned to focus
training on technical procurement skills,
66 percent on soft skills and 31 percent
on digital skills.
Mentoring programs. Edmisten
recommends a part-time program where
an employee shadows a coworker
for half of the work day. This can be
particularly beneficial when the mentor
employee is approaching retirement, he
Job-rotation programs. Such
programs can open employees’ eyes to
potential opportunities and job positions,
and can help build skills and aid in
aligning strengths with roles. “A job-rotation program can help expose people
to procurement and give them early,
accessible experience,” Flynn says.
By putting high-potential employees in
positions where they’ll be successful
— and engaging them through such
vehicles as training programs, skill
assessments and career development
— supply management organizations
can work toward inspiring and retaining
their high-performing employees and
meet changing company needs.
It’s critical “to invest in employees and
make them feel valued,” says Edmisten,
adding that a company’s survival “is
really about the people at the end of the
Sue Doerfler is a publications coordinator for
Inside Supply Management®.
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