There’s an ongoing war for talent. Competition is fierce among organizations and even within companies — especially in fields that require data analysis and statistics. Supply chain planning (SCP) leaders who want to attract and retain great talent need to ensure that their function stands out from the rest.
A dedicated talent strategy for SCP might seem like a task for the HR department, but without input and ownership from planning leaders, that strategy might fail to meet true business needs.
The thoughtful strategies and objectives we define and the processes and technologies we implement are only as robust as the people that execute on them
“Amid trade wars, economic volatility, digitalization and labor shortages, SCP leaders have plenty on their plates in terms of devising strategies that combat these issues,” said Caroline Chumakov, Principal Analyst, Gartner, at Gartner Supply Chain Planning Summit in Denver, CO. “But in the end, the thoughtful strategies and objectives we define and the processes and technologies we implement are only as robust as the people that execute on them. Therefore, every planning department needs a talent strategy.”
SCP leaders can build their talent strategy by using five pillars.
Pillar No. 1: Role-based capabilities
Your supply chain planning strategy is underpinned by the capabilities of your workforce. These capabilities are composed of the skills, knowledge, competencies and experiences required to be successful in a specific role or set of roles in the planning organization.
The 100%-fit candidate is a rare species, so SCP leaders should focus on a shortlist of the most critical capabilities the organization needs to remain competitive for the foreseeable future. This might include competencies such as curiosity, collaboration or data-driven decision making.
Pillar No. 2: Career pathways
In a recent Gartner survey, senior leaders in SCP identified the lack of a defined career path as one of the key reasons why planners move on to roles in other departments or leave an organization altogether. This is a red flag. Traditional, hierarchical career paths are no longer enough to engage and retain the average planner, especially for millennial and Gen Z talent.
“A career path should allow for not only hierarchical, but also lateral, movement, both within the planning organization and across other supply chain functions,” Chumakov said. “The challenge here is twofold: Creating the opportunities and then making sure that people are aware of them and know what it takes to chart their path in the organization.”
Pillar No. 3: Learning and development
One of the most effective ways to foster adult learning and development in SCP is through the use of the 70-20-10 model. The idea is that 70% of personal development should happen on the job via experiential learning interventions. These interventions could include activities such as stretch assignments or job rotations.
Relationship-based learning accounts for a further 20% of learning activities. This might include mentorship programs and online or offline best-practice sharing with peers. Manager-led coaching and leadership shadowing are also common learning interventions. Only the final 10% of learning activities are facilitated through formal training, such as certifications, classroom training and e-modules.