In any sector it is important to have a strong pipeline of young talent entering into the industry; only by engaging young people with our businesses will their future be secured beyond the immediate term. This is especially important in the logistics sector at the moment, where a shortage of drivers threatens the survival of many established companies.
“There is so much power and beauty in youth. Young people look at the world with fresh eyes and such lively determination, and create much-needed change by throwing convention out the window.”
– Sir Richard Branson
But, how do we make a career in logistics attractive to the younger generations? And, once we’ve attracted fresh blood into our businesses, how do we ensure we retain our best talent in the longer term?
For today’s young people, satisfaction at work is chiefly concerned with the five As: advancement, acknowledgement/appreciation, accessibility, added value and all-round care.
Offering an apprenticeship is one way businesses can attract young talent that is likely to stay with them long-term, as well as show their commitment to staff development. The investment in training and career development from day one engenders an invaluable emotional connection with and loyalty to a business. An apprenticeship that covers a variety of business areas is particularly useful, as it gives trainees the chance to explore their options and find out what interests them most.
An ILM survey on staff retention found almost a sixth (16%) of employees were considering leaving their job because they didn’t feel valued by their company. With so much of our lives spent at work, no one wants to feel like their best efforts are not being appreciated. For this reason, it is vital to recognise and reward your employees’ successes.
Creating an open, transparent culture is one way to help motivate people and ensure recognition occurs. Ensure your senior leadership team is not only visible but accessible too. Encourage managers to engage with all areas of the business, and provide opportunities for staff to meet board-level colleagues and to both seek and offer feedback.
Today’s employees are looking for more than just a pay packet, and the best employers now offer wide-ranging benefits packages including online or in-store reductions, discounts on days out, and free family and sporting events. Allowing some flexibility so employees can tailor their benefits to their personal preferences is an added bonus that employees will appreciate.
Studies have shown that employers who make a concerted effort to look after their employees’ physical and mental well-being are rewarded with increased staff loyalty, productivity and profitability. Those who feel safe and comfortable at work are happier, work harder and are more likely to stay. They are also more engaged – with work initiatives, with their own safety and wellbeing, and with that of others.
By putting more resource into attracting young talent and retaining skilled employees, businesses will be helping to prepare themselves for the future, whatever that holds.