The thesis "Whoever, as a logistics service provider, uses the Corona crisis as an opportunity to put his human resources management on a more personal level will have to worry much less about the shortage of skilled workers in the future." is absolutely right in principle and we would like to specify it as follows:
Never before in recent history have so many human beings been forced to reflect upon their lives, how we spend it and with whom in order to make it as meaningful as humanly possible. Especially in our work. Many of us have been forced to work from home and stay physically separated from our colleagues for longer periods – some also while balancing their children’s homework in between meetings and work-related tasks. The line between work and personal matters has been blurred and we have to a higher degree than before started reflecting about the purpose in our life and started questioning how our work contributes to the life we want to live.
As a recent study conducted by McKinsey & Company finds that 70 percent of employees said that their sense of purpose is defined by their work, leaders more than ever need to acknowledge that they play an important role in helping their employees reflect upon and find their purpose in life. The corona crisis has just accelerated what we already knew, namely that employees should not be seen as resources or machines but as human beings that deserves to live a meaningful life.* In other words, personnel management needs to be personal if companies want to keep their good employees.
During the crisis leaders have had to practice balancing tough decisions with empathy and individual flexibility to a degree that many have not tried before. This has forced leaders to sharpen their EQ and accommodate for their employee’s different life situations during the crisis. At the same time, leaders have had to rethink how to create a sense of belonging and keep the communication lines open when not being physically together – and avoid the pitfall of responding to lack of control with micro-management.
“Having a strong cultural platform that can guide both leaders and employees towards a common goal, a purpose that goes beyond making money and that can unite the organisation no matter the external circumstances has never been more important to enable successful leadership.” states Morten Albæk, Founder and CEO of the advisory firm Voluntās, partner of Scan Global Logistics. According to an overall study conducted by Voluntās, the overall level of meaning in work decreased from 76 to 72 (scale 100) during the corona crisis.
But how come that the level of Meaningfulness has increased in Scan Global Logistics from 75 in 2019 to 77 in 2020? “At Scan Global Logistics, we believe that leadership and personal management always need to be on an individual basis and no matter if we are facing a crisis or not. For us being a leader is first and foremost about leading each and every individual in a way that make them realise both their personal and professional potential in good times as well as turbulent times.” Highlights Allan Melgaard, Group CEO for Scan Global Logistics. “Therefore, we have spent years establishing a cultural foundation and made sure that our cultural DNA and our virtues that we aspire to live by every day is anchored throughout the entire organisation. In many ways, the pandemic has been a litmus test for how well we have succeeded.”
“In a recent conducted yearly ‚Meaningfulness Survey‘, we were surprised to see that the feeling of meaningfulness increased from an already general high level. Around 90 percent of our employees feel a strong connection between the services we offer and our purpose of making the world a little less complicated , and over 80 percent believe that their direct leaders lives up to our virtues (Respect, Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Fun) and that the virtues of Scan Global Logistics (SGL) are aligned with their own personal virtues.” comments Marc Oedekoven, CEO Automotive Special Logistics at SGL. This is inspiring and particularly remarkable as the automotive vertical has only joined SGL two years ago when SGL took over the Germany based IQS Group.
On a global scale, 89 percent of the employees agree to having the necessary trust from their direct leader to fulfil their job – indicating that leaders have avoided the micro-management pitfall. Even more surprisingly, the feeling of belonging is strengthened. On top of that, 83 percent of the employees feel that we have managed the turbulences associated with the corona crisis well.
“For us this is an indication that leaders have managed to balance tough decisions with empathy and respect for the individual needs, thus proven that our cultural DNA offers them the necessary platform to lead from and to guide their personal management style in a way that contributes to our employees feeling of meaningfulness in work.” emphasises Allan Melgaard. “The Corona crisis has confirmed the effectiveness of our leadership philosophy and we think we are very well positioned for the future and we are not worried about a shortage of skilled colleagues.” (ben)