Cultivating Supply Chain Talent

2021 was notable for labor challenges and shifts in thinking about employee engagement. Here’s how to attract supply chain talent and increase job satisfaction.

Trident Transport knows the value of employee engagement. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based freight broker provides extensive employee training peppered between fun company events and community outreach. From intramural team sports and costume contests, to an annual cornhole tournament raising money for the local children’s hospital, Trident places a heavy focus on workplace culture.

“On a basic level, we want our employees to enjoy where they work,” explains Katelyn Clark, Trident Transport’s director of people and culture. “Logistics can be stressful at times. We want to create an environment where employees are happy to come to the office each day.”

That commitment pays off. The company is expanding, even as a talent gap stretches across most parts of the supply chain. While Clark agrees that there is currently a worker shortage, she says Trident has mostly managed to avoid it. “Employees left and right refer friends or past co-workers to the company,” she says. “We’re actively growing.”

That hasn’t been a universal experience. A 2018 Deloitte study—conducted well before the pandemic began—predicted a 2.4 million worker shortfall by 2028 in manufacturing alone. Today, 90% of CEOs say that a labor shortage is impacting economic growth, finds the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.