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Addressing people challenges that affect efficiency

More comprehensive training for managers can help the supply chain ease employee frustrations.

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This is an excerpt of the original article. It was written for the July-August 2018 edition of Supply Chain Management Review. The full article is available to current subscribers.

July-August 2018

At Supply Chain Management Review, we’ve been writing about the talent crisis in our profession since at least 2012 when our MIT contributors were publishing a column on talent strategies. Last winter, the topic touched home when I picked up my local newspaper one Saturday morning. One of the lead stories was about two initiatives launched by C&S Wholesale Grocers with two local academic institutions: Keene State College and Franklin Pierce University.
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Effectively managing employees within the supply chain can be difficult due to the frequently changing nature of the business. Meeting day-to-day needs often takes higher priority than people management. In its research on organizational processes and performance, APQC recognized that people within an organization play an important role in the effectiveness of their fellow employees. APQC therefore conducted a research study on “People Challenges at Work” that identified the top people issues experienced at organizations today. Management development practices adopted by organizations across industries can provide valuable insight into how supply chain organizations can develop the skills of their managers to both address common people challenges and increase organizational efficiency.

Top people challenges

As part of its “People Challenges at Work” research, APQC conducted a survey of professionals from a variety of organizations to find out the types of people challenges that they encounter. Respondents came from different generations and job levels. For its research, APQC defined people challenges as instances in which the action or inaction of other employees makes it more difficult for an individual to achieve his or her goals. Results from the survey indicate that challenges can be categorized into three groups: communication, planning and interpersonal skills.

As shown in Figure 1, the top two challenges employees face regarding their managers are: the sharing of information and giving direction. Just over half of the individuals responding to APQC’s survey indicated that their manager does not share enough information, which makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs well. Nearly as many individuals feel that their manager does not provide adequate direction regarding their work.

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Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

From the July-August 2018 edition of Supply Chain Management Review.

July-August 2018

At Supply Chain Management Review, we’ve been writing about the talent crisis in our profession since at least 2012 when our MIT contributors were publishing a column on talent strategies. Last winter, the topic…
Browse this issue archive.
Access your online digital edition.
Download a PDF file of the July-August 2018 issue.

Effectively managing employees within the supply chain can be difficult due to the frequently changing nature of the business. Meeting day-to-day needs often takes higher priority than people management. In its research on organizational processes and performance, APQC recognized that people within an organization play an important role in the effectiveness of their fellow employees. APQC therefore conducted a research study on “People Challenges at Work” that identified the top people issues experienced at organizations today. Management development practices adopted by organizations across industries can provide valuable insight into how supply chain organizations can develop the skills of their managers to both address common people challenges and increase organizational efficiency.

Top people challenges

As part of its “People Challenges at Work” research, APQC conducted a survey of professionals from a variety of organizations to find out the types of people challenges that they encounter. Respondents came from different generations and job levels. For its research, APQC defined people challenges as instances in which the action or inaction of other employees makes it more difficult for an individual to achieve his or her goals. Results from the survey indicate that challenges can be categorized into three groups: communication, planning and interpersonal skills.

As shown in Figure 1, the top two challenges employees face regarding their managers are: the sharing of information and giving direction. Just over half of the individuals responding to APQC's survey indicated that their manager does not share enough information, which makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs well. Nearly as many individuals feel that their manager does not provide adequate direction regarding their work.

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