Last week, I blogged about the prospects of the economy overheating.  And, a few months ago, I blogged about the internal procurement challenge in a hot economy:  filling open positions with good talent.

Today, I will expand upon those themes by talking about the currently hot economy and how to preclude the internal procurement challenge by preventing your positions from becoming open in the first place.

Sure, with an unemployment rate pretty much as low as its been in this millennium, the probability of losing talent in the short-term is high.  But, that doesn’t mean that your best people are guaranteed to leave for the proverbial greener pastures.

You can retain your people if you are a good leader.  No matter the macroeconomic circumstances, if you’re a great leader, great people will want to stick with you.

How do you make them want to stay?

Well, I previously wrote that one role of a procurement leader is to be a teacher.  Another role is to be a morale builder.

Whether you’re a vice president of procurement or a first-level purchasing supervisor, you are the Chief Morale Officer for the group you are in charge of.

So, what are you doing to boost morale?

If your answer is “nothing right now,” then guess what?

You suck as a leader.

Sorry, to be so blunt.  But I must be honest and frank.  Sugarcoating the truth won’t help you to be a better procurement leader.

True leadership involves a concerted effort to continually work at boosting the morale of your subordinates.  This is true in bad economic times as well as good.  However, it is more critical than ever in today’s economy, when your subordinates have a virtually unprecedented number of options for employment.

You want your department to be their best option.

I think one of the key performance indicators for a leader is turnover – the ratio of people who depart the company to the number of positions.  And I think your target for this new year should be zero turnover.  That means not one person will leave.

If you can achieve that goal in this environment, you rock as a leader.  If you fall a little short of that goal, you may be human, though you should recognize room for improvement.

And, if you’ve already lost people this year…I won’t say it again, but let’s put it this way:  if you still think you rock as a leader, you may just have a little distorted self-perception.

So, get to boosting morale sooner rather than later.  There are plenty of ideas out there on the web.  Many don’t even require a budget.  Google is your friend.  If you’ve done nothing to date, anything will be a step in the right direction.

There are no excuses for doing nothing.  Even if your boss does nothing to boost your morale, that doesn’t mean you need to stoop to his/her level of leadership incompetence.

Remember:  You are the Chief Morale Officer for your group.  Lead like one.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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