It’s nearly impossible to find someone in today’s world who hasn’t felt the impact of COVID-19. That’s true for both business and personal lives. Some of these effects will prove transitory. However, there is a list of potentially long-term business effects resulting from the pandemic.
- Shutdowns resulted in the closure of many companies, especially retail stores and restaurants, which will in many cases, never reopened.
- Many workers exchanged their office desk for one at home as remote working took over, impacting ancillary businesses that served those workers.
- Supply chain shortages have led to delays in production and increases in prices.
- And then, there’s “The Great Resignation.”
Here’s an astonishing statement from a December 2021 article in Forbes, “Over 81% of the participating senior-level executives from mid-to-large enterprises in the U.S. and U.K. said talent, not technology, is the No. 1 priority for business transformation.”
We are so used to hearing that technology will change everything that many have lost sight of the most important assets a business has…its people. Finding and retaining the best people is proving harder and harder due to people reassessing their future and their priorities; thus, The Great Resignation. With so many jobs available, workers are really in charge of their own careers, making decisions that prior to 2020 they never would have been able to make. In today’s environment, HR professionals need to consider things that go beyond salary and health benefits, especially once workers have experienced a work/life balance that didn’t exist before. An Oracle global study found that 88 percent of the people surveyed say, “their meaning of success has changed since the pandemic.”
Throughout the supply chain, workers have been leaving their positions, from logistics to technicians to drivers to warehouse workers and office employees, creating backlogs that cascade down to the detriment of business relationships between buyers and sellers. A Business Insider article also noted that, “from a supply chain perspective, the shipping industry alone lost 1.52 million workers throughout the pandemic.”
In the trucking industry, we have, for a very long time, faced worrying shortages of drivers and technicians. But in this new environment, transportation entities are losing workers throughout the organization. I have been writing about the importance of good recruitment and retention processes for years, both on this site and on my IdeaXchange page. I’ve also addressed the immense value of retaining your best workers as a way to keep your business steady. The Business Insider article cited above indicates that the next phase of the Great Resignation should be the Great Retention, where companies find ways to nurture their existing workforce and create a sense of loyalty that will keep them with you. Below are just some of the issues I’ve addressed that can offer guidance on dealing with openings within your organization:
- Professional Development – Some companies are so focused on attracting and retaining millennials and Gen Z, that they forget that their older, and likely most loyal, workers want the same opportunity to move forward and upward as do their younger colleagues.
- Reassessing Hiring Procedures and Protocols – Something as simple as simplifying the application process can help increase candidate interest.
- Recruiting technicians – Some fleets are thinking outside the box and creating their own apprenticeship programs for diesel technicians.
- Building Driver Loyalty – It’s not just a salary these days. Drivers want satisfaction that goes beyond a paycheck.
- Adapting to a Hybrid Workforce – Your drivers and techs can’t do their jobs from home, but other employees can – and want to. Technology is making this possible and productive.
Although pendulums always swing back in the opposite direction, right now the job market is to the employee’s advantage. The more companies can do to make their organization a go-to place to work, the better for that company’s growth potential.