In my last post, I discussed the shortage of technical talent in the textile industry. After sharing this post, I had the honor of speaking on this topic at the Southern Textile Association Conference. In doing my research, I discovered that our industry knows there is a war for textile talent. But, we don’t know how to prevent this issue in our own companies moving forward. How do we become proactive and prevent this shortage of talent from being a huge challenge in the future?
One way is to focus on keeping people on your team. On average, millennials are going to change jobs every four years. A successful way you can keep millennials and all employees at your company is to develop career paths for your associates. As I talk with people looking to make a job change, I have learned that the number one reason people change jobs is because they want a more defined career path–they do not see an opportunity to grow in their current company.
It’s easy, to plan a “career path” meeting with your associates at least twice a year. Discuss roles they can move to in your organization. Talk about education and training programs they can participate in to gain skills and knowledge they need to advance their career. It may be that their career growth is in a different part of your organization that does not report to you. Would you rather them leave to find that growth or move somewhere else in your company? Your associates must feel like they have a career growth plan within your organization.
As the shortage for specialized talent continues to grow, you should think about how to train your young talent. One thing that we have moved away from is management training programs. These programs are considered “old school”, but what if we took the time to develop “new school management training programs?” Could that inspire young talent to stay with your organization? If the programs were progressive and innovative, we might find a solution to this War for Textile Talent.
I know that developing career paths for your associates and creating a management training program does not sound like easy tasks. These two concepts take planning and time. But, I do know that if you put these concepts into place in your company, then you will begin to retain your specialized textile talent.