There’s a lot of talk around creating cultures of agility and new, innovative working practices, but how do we get there? With 54% of procurement professionals considering career progression, benefits and work culture as critical considerations when making career decisions, procurement teams need to take action.
Future Procurement Leaders recently hosted a series of virtual roundtables on preparing for the future of talent. Here are the key takeaways from our second discussion.
Attendees to this virtual roundtable were largely in agreement that their procurement teams were functionally competent and there was rarely a problem training up new team members for tactical procurement skills. The next step for these teams was to look at ‘what else can candidates bring?’
As previous Procurement Leaders research suggests, the focus is now on upskilling ‘soft skills’ within procurement teams. One participant advised when looking into competency gaps, they were beginning to look even beyond soft skills, but to look at ‘personality gaps’ within teams. For example, assessing a team for how risk adverse it may be, and then ensuring their next hire complemented this.
We repeatedly hear that face to face interactions is the best way to develop successful internal relationships, however this isn’t always possible. With global teams, the best tools we have are regular conference calls, preferably with video, combined with internal communication programmes such as Facebook’s Workplace or Microsoft Teams.
Another suggestion was ensuring the accessibility of information. Rather than just having an org. chart, try creating a roadmap of which projects or activities certain people are responsible for. This will make it easier for people to know who to ask for support on certain areas.
Using a ‘pod structure’ for your strategic projects is a great way to stop siloed business practices. Employees can then spend more time doing what they love and are good at, building these skills out further.
One participant said their organisation offers incentives to staff who deliver projects working in a cross-functional team. This encourages employees to think outside the box when selecting stakeholders for a project and encourages bringing new skillsets to the table.
Another point of view was to ensure a culture of collaboration, companies need to provide teams the space to try new things out without fearing consequences of failing the first time around. One attending company shared they have a specific space in their organisation specifically for procurement teams to ideate with stakeholders and suppliers.
Ensuring you have a collaborative, positive culture in your organisation will help you to retain and attract your teams and will create a more engaged workforce. As an individual, it’s critical that you connect with other stakeholders and develop your skillsets if want to continue your personal development.
Procurement Leaders members should work directly with their account manager to dive deeper into the takeaways and receive supporting materials.
If you would like to learn from Procurement Leaders about talent or other topics, please contact us.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.