Millennials have been in the news a lot lately. They’ve also taken over as the dominant generation in terms of their numbers in the workforce (as of 2015), and their numbers in the U.S. population at large (as of 2016). For an industry like supply chain, which has seen steady growth in jobs at all levels, that makes focusing on Millennials a key target for amped up efforts in attraction to, and retention in, its workforce. And not just based on the math. As it turns out, there’s an ideal match between the unique generational characteristics of Millennials and the types of challenges and rewards offered by supply chain careers.
Millennials have been described as technology-savvy, collaborative, open to new experiences, creative problem solvers, desirous of prompt feedback in real-time, and motivated to make a positive impact on the world at large. For an industry that has made its way to the C-suite and is considered by most companies to be a strategic asset, having a workforce capable of addressing ongoing challenges with technology-driven solutions—emphasizing agility, flexibility, speed, accuracy and sustainability—is an ideal match.
That’s why the Workforce section of Roadmap 2.0 offers a section on recruiting Millennials (and others) to supply chain careers (page 48), and on developing them into the leaders of the future (sidebar, page 45).
As for attracting people—particularly Millennials—to the supply chain workforce, four key points are covered:
- Understand the local labor market and what workers want from their jobs.
- Align work to match the skillsets of workers on a case-by-case basis.
- Commit to employee flexibility by considering alternative shift scheduling, telecommuting, job-sharing and part-time positions.
- Improve the image of the industry, which is still perceived by many to only have tedious, seasonal, dirty jobs in dark and dangerous warehouses.
To develop Millennials into the supply chain leaders of the future (and many of them are already ascending into managerial level roles), Roadmap 2.0 offers eight recommendations. Among them: foster a corporate culture that frames work as beneficial to the greater good; encourage work-life balance; support collaboration; underwrite ongoing training and educational development activities; and provide clearly delineated career advancement paths, from entry-level to executive management.
Looking for first-hand insights into what it is about supply chain that appeals to Millennials? Then don’t miss the chance to network with many of them during the MHI Young Professionals networking reception on Tuesday, April 10 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at MODEX 2018 (held April 9-12, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta). Pre-registration is not required for this informal meet-and-greet event. Just wear your MODEX 2018 badge and pick up your two free drink tickets at the door.
To hear from Millennials who’ve chosen supply chain careers, check out MHI Solutions’ recent feature story, “The Changing Face of Supply Chain: Under 35 and on the Rise,” here.