Trying to strike the perfect work/life balance has in the past been a tricky business, but the next generation are bringing with them a different mind-set that is changing things and forcing CPOs to reconsider how they have traditionally managed their teams.
Tradition has always dictated that in the office environment you must be seen by everyone to be working hard. Whether that is sending an email while on holiday, early in the morning, perhaps at 4am for good effect, after hours or indeed staying at your desk until the cleaning team have started hovering up.
Do this and you plant the seed in everyone else’s mind that you are one of the most hard working people in the office and when that review comes round you are sure to be on for a decent pay-rise or that promotion you have been gunning for.
Keen to impress other functions and raise its profile, procurement has been one function that has taken this to heart.
Recent research from recruitment firm Robert Walters found that two thirds of procurement supply chain professionals do not leave their desk for lunch. 36% were found to take just 15 minutes or less while 8% were found to take no break at all.
Interestingly the survey also showed that some 21% believed that long working hours/a negative company culture would be the most important factor in them deciding whether to leave their job. This came out above a disappointing salary review, lack of a bonus, limited flexible working options or poor relationships with their colleagues.
But as a new generation comes into the function, with a whole host of new priorities and beliefs, one of which is to work fewer hours, this traditional working culture is beginning to change. That means CPOs will have to think differently about how they manage their teams and the kind of culture they are creating.
That message though is starting to get through.
"Next year, we will truly focus on a work-life-balance programme for procurement," said one CPO of a consumer goods company in response to a survey question.
At next week’s World Procurement Congress (WPC) talent is high on the discussion agenda and some of the biggest names in the community are set to share what they are up to to ensure they can recruit and retain the very best of the next generation.
What is certain though is that if you fail to take this advice on board you might find yourself with a somewhat diminished team, one that one be able to perform to its full ability in the new age.