How to Combat the Labor Crisis in Your Supply Chain

Labor shortages and low unemployment rates plague many industries, especially 3PL labor. Although wages have increased 25%-30% over the past two years, hiring and retaining warehouse employees is still challenging. In fact, 56% of 3PLs and 78% of shippers said labor shortages impacted their supply chain operations in 2022.

What’s going on? And why are supply chain workers and associates in short supply?

The 3PL labor problems began during the pandemic–a time that upended practices around wages and benefits and changed how people choose to work.

The pandemic forced many 3PL workers into new side hustles. But rising inflation has offset wage increases and placed added financial strain on individuals and their families. So, warehouse associates look for employers who offer work flexibility so they can grow their entrepreneurial enterprises or work a second job.

It’s a prime time for 3PLs to prioritize finding and retaining qualified 3PL labor and enhancing their employment opportunities.

How to find and retain qualified 3PL labor for better workforce management

Your best approach begins with a solid talent acquisition strategy that targets a broader audience. Online job boards, social media, and industry-specific platforms all let you connect with potential candidates.

Next, you’ll want to foster a collaborative work culture with open communication among different teams and departments. This approach can lead to more efficient workflows and a better labor distribution of labor resources.

And, of course, you’ll want to ID any factors that drive employee turnover. You can do this by conducting stay interviews, gathering feedback, and making necessary changes to retain your workforce.

To broaden your reach, collaborating with educational institutions, training centers, and vocational schools is often a good idea to establish pipelines of skilled workers entering the industry. You can offer internships, apprenticeships, or co-op programs to attract talent. And, of course, you can pay well and provide good benefits while keeping employees engaged and satisfied by offering perks like outings to local ballparks, free lunches, dogs at work, etc.

Lastly, you’ll want to be sure that your management walks the walk and is out and about, listening to employees, helping them with any challenges, and giving them accolades for a job well done.

To combat the labor crisis in your supply chain, you should continuously evaluate your recruitment strategies, gather feedback from your existing workforce, and make necessary adjustments to attract and retain the best talent for your supply chain. Today’s employees want a better work-life balance, so show your commitment to employee well-being.

At Nexterus, we have an annual holiday party, usually themed. Last year, it was the Roaring 20’s; this year, it’s at a local brewery, karaoke-themed. We also have a family picnic each year, with a bounce house, dunk tank, and games. We have a monthly “Powwow,” providing company insights for the month, after which we offer either a homemade breakfast or a catered breakfast to all employees. We celebrate a lot! We have a cookout to kick off football season, providing hot dogs/burgers. Want to join the fun? Contact Nexterus today!

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