Providing Flexible Work Experiences for Frontline Workers
While organizations have learned a lot about hybrid work throughout the pandemic, those lessons rarely apply to operational and frontline staff - employees whose tasks require them to show up physically. The supply chain has a deep dependency on the stability of the schedules of these frontline workers. This stems from a history of finding talent willing to adjust to the supply chain’s scheduling needs. This is not the case anymore, and the supply chains that achieve flexibility at the frontline will win the talent competition of the future.
“Supply chain leaders have two levers here. They can invest in technology to reduce their reliance on humans for frontline operational execution, where work is most inflexible, and they can find ways to increase frontline worker flexibility,” Petrusic said. “Only a small number of survey respondents are currently taking the technology route. However, 56% say that they are investing to design work primarily for flexibility.”
As a result of those investments, the supply chain of the future will be marked by flexible workspaces and work schedules, such as part-time shifts and the possibility for employees to schedule and trade their own shifts. A smaller portion of that future supply chain will enable flexibility through technology, for example, through augmented and virtual reality or exoskeletons.
Enable Intentional Collaboration
Supply chain leaders have already begun to enable collaboration more intentionally. For example, 62% of respondents are currently investing in providing policy and communication tools for seamless in-person and remote work relationships. The supply chain of the future will be characterized by agile workspaces, collaboration between remote and in-person employees, and collaboration-based training and upskilling programs.
Drive Empathy-Based Management
Supply chain leaders have realized that they must hold themselves – and their managers – accountable for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and employee well-being, including protection against discrimination. Around three-quarters of respondents are investing to enforce equitable employment practices and provide employees with meaningful, purpose-driven initiatives in their work.
“With shifting employment models already being explored, supply chain leaders will want to ensure they can drive empathy for these nontraditional employees. They’ll need the proper organizational structure to do so, including focused leadership roles, such as directors of remote work or robotics,” Petrusic concluded.
Gartner clients can read more in “Supply Chain Executive Report: The Future of Supply Chain 2022”.
Non-Gartner clients can find more information in the eBook “Reinventing the Supply Chain for the Future”.
About the Gartner Supply Chain Practice
The Gartner Supply Chain Practice provides actionable, objective insights for supply chain leaders and their teams, so they can respond to disruption and innovate for the future through leading-edge supply chain management practices. Additional information is available at https://www.gartner.com/en/supply-chain.
Follow news and updates from the Gartner Supply Chain Practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSC. Visit the Supply Chain Newsroom for more information and insights.
About Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo
Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo delivers the must-have insights, strategies and frameworks for CSCOs and supply chain leaders to drive impact within their organizations. Supply chain leaders will gather to gain a strategic view of the trends disrupting their business and the insights and frameworks they can use to prepare for disruption, enable digital transformation and build sustainability as a competitive advantage.
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo include:
June 6-9: Orlando, Fl.
September 27-29: London, U.K.