Following ESG principles allows companies to become better corporate citizens and more holistically support the supply chain ecosystem. Studies have found that companies with high-rated ESG performance have higher profits and lower risk, making them more competitive all around.
Too often overlooked, the social aspect of ESG is essential to achieving these returns. Here are three workforce initiatives companies can take that produce value, improve efficiencies and go beyond “checking a box.”
Hire With Intention
Companies should look inward and examine their motivations. Are you hiring to fill a diversity quota, or searching for unique experiences, thoughts and worldviews that add to your teams?
A diverse workforce brings new ideas to the table and fosters innovation — something the supply chain desperately needs now. Explore opportunities to proactively hire underrepresented talent from unusual places, and audit your processes to uncover existing biases. Make sure these processes are adjusted for every level — from entry to executive.
To retain talent, create a feedback culture that strives for continuous improvement. Establish personalized development plans, management training, compensation audits and employee engagement surveys. Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great way to enrich company culture and provide safe spaces for minority and other affinity groups.
Employees that feel safe and heard become the most valuable to the organization’s mission. By creating and nurturing inclusive cultures, companies can build superior solutions for their customers.
Treat Drivers Right
As we’ve learned in the past few years, truckers’ health and wellness affects the supply chain ecosystem as a whole. The job isn't easy; drivers are subject to unstable revenue, long hours and health complications due to the sedentary lifestyle — among other issues.
Let’s start with revenue and hours. The complexity of the ecosystem demands technology solutions coupled with a deep knowledge of the industry. Once you start aggregating data points on every shipment, you can tell a clearer story about where the challenges lie for drivers and work to solve them. That, in turn, puts more money in drivers’ pockets, gets them home faster, keeps them motivated and delivers more shipments on time.
Truckers’ mental and physical wellness are also severely under-addressed, according to 74% of carriers surveyed last year by Transfix. Take a step back and ask what your company can do to improve their lives? Maybe it’s finding a way to advocate for better benefits or providing more options for fitness on the road.
By positively impacting drivers' lives and carriers’ businesses, you usher in the ability to move more freight.
Cultivate Partnerships for Large-Scale Change
Companies won’t be able to achieve a sustainable impact on the supply chain alone. Building a connected network of specialized shippers, carriers, brokers, advocates and partners opens up opportunities for progress.
If the goal is a more diverse chain, then companies should look toward those organizations that empower minority voices. From women’s leadership organizations like SHE Trucking, which provides mentorship, community and education to black and BIPOC women in the industry, to groups like Veterans in Trucking, a job site targeting former armed service members, these groups are already doing the work; we can all help amplify their efforts.
Focus too on advancing the industry through cause-based programming. Offer support to groups like Truckers Against Trafficking, which helps carriers identify and report trafficking on the road, or Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, which delivers excess food from catering services to shelters and soup kitchens.
These organizations were started by carriers because they are causes that make a meaningful impact on carriers. Industry support and resources can go a long way in mobilizing that care and helping achieve their goals.
Employee and community wellness isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a mandatory measure to bolster a weakening supply chain. If more companies commit to cultivating diversity and encouraging wellness, industry resilience — and bottom lines — will benefit.
Sophie Dabbs is chief commercial officer at Transfix.
Read more of SupplyChainBrain's 2022 Supply Chain ESG Guide here.
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