Our fourth and final post summarizing our educational conference covers an issue near and dear to most of our hearts right now: labor. We were fortunate to have Maria Leggett, MHI Director of Education with certifications in PMP, ScrumMaster, SHRM-SCP, and Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. 

Maria used her extensive involvement in her role in the nation’s largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association connecting over 800 MHI members with education, networking, sourcing and business development opportunities.

Maria Leggett presents at DLN on Oct. 14, 2021

Preparing for Future Skills

To begin our talk, Maria asked our attendees to think about future skills, and our own personal definition of management. What makes sense for some, isn’t the same for all. So what skills are needed? She broke down the annual survey given to MHI members and shared key findings: team leadership skills, change management and resiliency, agility and empowerment, communication, data analytics, and continuous learning.

Because most of the workers in a DC don’t start out with traditional college degree or any training beyond high school, MHI is introducing

Voice of the Worker

ProLogistix, a logistics staffing firm, conducts an annual survey of blue-collar workers within the supply chain industry. It is the nation’s largest annual survey of America’s hourly, blue-collar workforce, asking over 15,000 workers what is most important for them. Maria shared the top findings of what is most important to them:                       

#1 – Pay – 33%​

#2 – Job Security -12%​

#3 – Shift Schedule – 11%​

#4 – COVID-19 Safety – 10%

Employers needing these workers can be sure to adjust pay higher, provide flexible schedules and part-time benefits, adjust hiring criteria and boost onboarding and ongoing training and support.

Future Talent

Based on the research, a few themes emerge. Competitive pay is a must. Current data shows that a minimum of $17 an hour is the rate at which hiring companies should adopt. Beyond pay, flexibility in schedule is the number one desired non-tangible benefit.

Beyond pay and hours, push to adjust hiring criteria and provide onboarding and ongoing internal training and development, so employees will be encouraged to stay on with you and can envision a future with you.

A startling fact is that in 9 years, by 2030, the US could face a deficit of more than 85 million workers according to Korn Ferry.

Non-Traditional Talent Sources

Since 2019, Honest Jobs is a second-chance national job marketplace for people affected by the criminal justice system, which has attracted over 475 companies, including several Fortune 500’s, to match job seekers with employers. Amazon, Owens Corning, GAP and Jimmy John’s are a few employers that have found success with finding workers. Honest Jobs offers free federal bonding, tax credits, and strategic sourcing to fill open positions.

Retiring veterans and people with disabilities (PWD) are another option that are often overlooked as a potential pool of workers.

Another is contract workers, which can be used seasonally based on demand.

Developing Future Workers

Gen Z recruiting and retaining is key. Ensure that your Glassdoor listing and social media are current and relevant. What this generation values is schedule flexibility, doing impactful work, communicating using current technology resources like Slack, Zoom, etc.

Diversity and inclusion is more important to this generation than any other, so retaining these workers likely means talking more about company efforts in this area, as well as illustrating the impact of their work. Planning a path for advancement will keep these workers with your company, as they’ll be able to see a future with you.

Maria emphasized starting to develop future talent by engaging with potential employees sooner – as in high school, even middle school – and this can be done by engaging with schools for career days, offering internships, and partnering with technical schools.

What are your thoughts about developing future talent? Is this something your company is working on now? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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