To reduce turnover, worker shortages, manage your talent like a supply chain 

In supply-chain management, you get what you plan for. Companies understand that principle when it comes to the goods that they consume and produce, but many struggle to apply the practice when it comes to the people they hire and train. 

For decades, companies have adopted a short-term, ad hoc approach to talent management—and it’s increasingly obvious that this is a problem with profoundly harmful implications for the economy, Harvard Business Review reports. That’s especially true in the current Great Resignation moment, as companies are struggling to find the skilled workers they need. 

If employers want to ensure they have the workers they need not only for the present but also the future, they’re going to have to get better at sourcing their own talent and actively developing their employees’ skills. Here are the top strategies, based on business research: 

  • Employers must work actively to draw from a broader talent base, recruiting from a wider set of geographies and feeder jobs, and reevaluate which job requirements are truly necessary.  
  • Employers must invest in “growing their own.” In many companies, employees find that the best way to move up is to move out, driving up turnover. Managers should invest in their workforce in the same way that they invest in R&D, by recognizing that near-term investments yield long-term returns. 
  • Employers need to implement fundamental principles of supply chain management. In the case of talent, these are often community colleges and technical-training academies. As with other suppliers, companies need to share detailed job specifications with colleges, meet regularly with them, provide them with access to relevant experts and technology, discuss their emerging requirements, evaluate their reciprocal performance, and offer data-driven feedback. Read the full story from HBR.