Engineers practice something called torture testing. It involves stretching a system beyond its normal operational capacity, pushing it to breaking point, in order to find underlying weaknesses. Procurement teams around the globe were put through their own torture test recently, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Weaknesses were exposed.
A McKinsey & Company survey of procurement leaders found that 86% of respondents observed gaps in procurement capability as a result of COVID-19 impact. 86%. It’s a staggering number. The vast majority of procurement teams out there don’t have the requisite skills to adequately execute their responsibilities.
The answer is eLearning.
Yes, I can hear you. eLearning isn’t for me and it’s not for my business. If that’s what you think, you simply haven’t found an eLearning platform worth its salt.
Retain and reward with eLearning
Right now, there’s tension in the (remote) workplace. Surveys have uncovered a disconnect between workers and their employers. While most agree that working from home has been more successful than anticipated, isolation on the part of the employee and a lack of oversight on the part of the employer are still major concerns. The McKinsey survey found that 43% of procurement leaders witnessed a significant decline in morale and 49% a drop in productivity, both attributable to remote working.
Working from home has its advantages, but many drawbacks. It’s much harder for managers to pick up on workers who might need assistance, and much harder for workers to reach out for help. Days and weeks slip by during lockdowns. Imagine watching the time drift away as you stall in your career, unable to progress. It’s anxiety-inducing.
A comprehensive eLearning platform can re-engage a workforce by closing skill gaps and mapping a comprehensive path to the next career stage and beyond. Let’s be clear: we’re not talking about PowerPoint slides. This is not a fun-for-five-minutes gimmick. This is about character chores, interactive simulations and real-world analysis. This is eLearning supplemented with virtual facilitated workshops, webinars and face-to-face coaching.
With Comprara’s Academy of Procurement eLearning, we employ short, sharp training to close the gaps unearthed during our assessments, then map a longer term, career-oriented syllabus, customised to the individual. Our training is certified and provides pivotal and relevant knowledge. And if you’re fearful employees won’t stick with it, that’s because you haven’t heard of our Dedicated Account Managers.
Big brother, in a good way
People like to be watched. People like to know their progress is being tracked. That’s why we use Dedicated Account Managers, assigned to each participant. Think of these guys like a supervisor in a post-grad degree. They monitor progress, give the worker a call once a quarter, send monthly emails with tips and tricks. They prod you if you’re going too slow, pull you back if you’re zooming along too quickly. They keep you on track and they’re there to call whenever you’re stuck and need help.
This is all about engagement and technical capabilities. Once we’ve identified strengths and weaknesses, we also organise mentor and mentee relationships.
From a manager’s point of view, these DAMs ensure money isn’t being wasted. Part of their job is to provide updates for employers and onboard and offboard people if necessary. Our eLearning licenses are transferrable; if you feel a different worker would benefit more than the person currently using it, they can be swapped.
The DAMs also provide continuity. Workplaces change; personnel come and go, either switching departments or organisations. When you outsource your team’s training, you cease to rely on a single employee to oversee training and maintain momentum. No matter whom sits above them, your workers will always have the same DAM to provide continuity and propulsion.
We’re your capability provider
Some who enter our industry are under the impression they can get a job, work for 12 months, and be a category manager on $200,000 a year. Sadly, some find this to be a reality, which is part of what contributes to the 86%.
If you want a capable procurement team, you have to invest the time. There’s no getting around it. It takes time to be a professional, it takes time to develop the skills and knowledge to properly execute the role of a procurement officer.
eLearning isn’t a Band-Aid solution. It’s a long-term investment. We have organisations who have been using our platform for years. They retain their workers, they make them the envy of our industry.
If you want to reward and retain your employees and build capable, professional procurement teams, book a call with Comprara’s Academy of Procurement today and check out our game-changing Procurement Pro ToolKit.