- On October 9, 2017
- operational management, operational staff, personnel, professional training, staff management, supply chain training, training
Interview with Pavlina Tsvetanova, published in Human Resources Magazine
- Tsvetanova, you still continue to say that there are enough people to work in Bulgaria and that the economy may prosper. What are the basis for such statements?
That is right, there are very qualitative people with strong wish to work and develop themselves. The challenge for the companies is to attract and keep these people.
During the past year I see the growth of the new generation – this generation that now is on the labor market. And honestly, I am impressed. The reasons are that young people:
- Want to work. Of course they also face difficulties, they also wander whether they will succeed, they are searching for the right job, but they keep going.
- Are not burdened and understand what should do from one word. And they do the job properly, really.
- It is very important a person to put some thought in the job, not only to do it quickly. Thinking prevents mistakes and creates new ideas.
- Are open enough as personalities and are not afraid of any feedback or to propose improvements and seek results from their efforts.
The people around their 30’s are also impressive. They have realized many truths, they have passed through several whirlpools and have understood that its better first to think and then to act.
And last, but not least are the people in the end of their carrier paths – they also want to keep going and to contribute to the company growth.
Everywhere the people want to do something better but doesn’t know how.
Thus, my opinion is that there are plenty of qualitative people, but someone should show them the way which leads to personal and company development.
- If the situation is as described, why the companies face difficulties to find staff?
I think the most important is the management attitude. If you expect that you will work with qualitative people, they will come to you. If you think that all people are just brainless marionettes, you’ll have exactly such kind in your company. This is how the statement “there are no people” was born.
To attract the appropriate people, we need the following prerequisites:
- Well-arranged organization. Which means to have clear rules and responsibilities for every employee.
- To train the staff according the best practices and our values.
- To provide area for development. Dynamic people (whom we are searching for) want constantly to learn and experiment. And of course to see the results from their efforts.
If these prerequisites are missing, the human turnover is huge or the company do not prosper.
I don’t diminish the fact that there are “dead souls” in some companies – those persons who came just to receive salaries. They not only do not contribute to the company growth, but act as black hole and exhaust the company energy. It is bad, when such people are on the management positions, which is frequently met recently. You have to terminate the professional relationship with such personalities.
- What do you recommend?
My recommendation is to focus on staff trainings first. Because employees who know and can do the job, start searching for improvements in the processes. Then the rest cases would be solved, like process arrangement, easier relations, higher productivity, etc. Skilled employees would eliminate the lazy employees and so the company would be self-cleaned and would work better.
- Are the trainings enough?
This depends on their quality.
We in Supply Chain Ltd, created a training school where to train people in different areas – planning, purchasing, warehousing, distribution. We named it Training school because there we teach HOW things should happen, HOW to apply the good practices in reality. For instance, we all know that warehouses are not flexible, nevertheless we want them to be. With the right arrangement, we may have enough space and optimal picking. In Training School Warehousing, one of the exercises we do is how to arrange different types of warehouses in a way to have enough space. And when new arrival come, there is no need to rearrange the whole warehouse or place it wherever there is some space – we place it on the right position. The aim is with the current resources to achieve higher effectiveness. Of course, we also consider the innovations which require investments, time, staff, so that the trainees may evaluate what is applicable for their company.
The training school is divided in modules according the hierarchy level. We start with a common module and after that we upgrade the knowledge and skills. For instance, one warehouse manager is good to pass all themes for the warehouse workers and then to proceed to the themes for warehouse management. Each module covers different competencies, skills and knowledge – the themes are not repeated. The trainees do the cases of the modules and then apply them in their company, considering the pros and cons. On the next level, we discuss the problems, check the homework and continue ahead. This is how knowledge is upgraded and can be used immediately. And every trainee gets not only theoretical preparation, but also a certain solution for the problems he has faced and couldn’t solve in the past. It is strongly advisable all levels to be passed because the practice shows that there are many gaps in peoples’ knowledge and skills. The managers should pass all modules in order to be prepared how to organize and control their departments.
The themes are broad and detailed. We give homework so that the knowledge be applied immediately. Another method that we apply is to give feedback to the trainees. This happens after we have checked the homework and the results during the courses. We send a personal assessment to every trainee or to the payer of the course. Again the aim is to maximize the knowledge acceptance and most importantly, the employer to know what exactly was taught and what to expect from his employee.
- This sounds complicated and expensive. Is it so?
Actually it is not. One training school prolongs 3-4-months, with 1-2 courses per month. As no employer can afford his people to be absent longer. This is the needed time for solid acceptance of the new activities and methods. The periods between the different courses are long enough so that trainees may assimilate the information and apply it directly to their job. This is almost on-the-job training. Every month we have a new course. If a trainee has missed a course, he can catch up the theme in another course.
After finalizing the modules, we found an interesting relation: every hierarchy level may be trained at the price of one salary for that level. E.g. the employees receive a ready-to-use information and solutions in short terms. Instead of wasting time and resources, the whole know-how goes to them at the price of one salary.
- Does this mean that you train everyone in the supply chain?
Exactly. We train the operational staff who must do the job correctly and on time. We train the supervisors and the managers who step on one solid ground and start generating more benefits for the company compared to if they search opportunities alone. We train the employers also (via the given feedback for their employees), by showing the way which every employee have to go through.
- What are the benefits for the employers and the employees?
There are several benefits:
- The people get the essence for everything which they need for the job – from one source by proven supply chain experts.
- There are conditions for continuous optimization of the processes in planning, logistics, purchasing and warehouse.
- We do not divide the people from the working process and thus we do not stop the work in the company. And at the same time we increase the performance level, the motivation and peoples’ awareness.
- We provoke interest – have you noticed that the deeper you dig in one issue, the more interest is generated and the person starts to think and generate many productive ideas and projects.
The training school may replace the consultancy because they structure the knowledge in all departments of supply chain. Apart from that they give the formulas and ways of calculating the supplies, capacity, resources, production programs, etc. The training school does not only give some theory but guides everyone how to upgrade knowledge, how to adjust processes and how to apply the useful models in the company.