How can procurement retain talent in the era of The Great Resignation?

In the era of The Great Resignation, procurement teams are working to figure out how to retain talent. We explore how your team can retain talent while also creating a great working environment for your employees.

How can procurement retain talent in the era of The Great Resignation

Procurement teams have faced major challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic and The Great Resignation have created a seismic shift in the balance of power between businesses and workers. 

Professionals in the supply chain and procurement professions are re-evaluating and reconsidering their current positions for the companies that they work for. According to data compiled by LinkedIn to Bloomberg, the average separation rate for supply chain managers increased by 28% between 2020 and 2021.

However, there are things that businesses can do to avoid losing good employees to competitors in the procurement and supply chain profession.

Here’s our guide for how you can retain talent and avoid the effects of The Great Resignation as we move into 2023. 

Listen and talk with your employees regularly

Leaders and managers should be listening and talking with their employees on a regular basis. As a manager, it’s worth questioning your employees about their morale and engagement. 

Focus on conversations around how they are doing, any concerns they have, their reasons for staying, and what can be done to improve things within the company.

Having this insight can be extremely valuable to retaining talent in your procurement team. 

Support your employees so that they don’t leave your company 

Supporting your employees is crucial to ensuring that they don’t leave your company and join your competitors. If an employee feels their career has plateaued or they are not being rewarded for their hard work, then they may have no choice but to hand in their resignation letter.

Employees want to know that the work that they’re doing is being recognised by the company’s management. If managers fail to communicate this to their employees, then they will feel under-appreciated and will begin to burn out from their current position.

That’s why it’s important that you support your employees so that their hard work is recognised and rewarded.

Provide flexible working options for your employees

Flexibility is not just a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s essential for retaining talent so that they don’t end up leaving.

Long commutes to work and rigid working hours are a thing of the past as employees embraced having a better balance between work and life during the pandemic.

Data from the Office for National Statistics’ Opinions and Lifestyle Survey found that more than three-quarters of workers (78%) agreed that working from home gave them a better work/life balance. 

Job sharing, amending start/finish times, and offering remote or hybrid working are all things that you can offer to retain talent.

A major benefit of offering flexible working options is that it can help attract a wider pool of talent when hiring for new roles, as well as increasing productivity. 

Open up learning and development opportunities for employees

Procurement professionals want to feel they are progressing in their current roles within the companies they are working for.

Investing in learning and development can enable team members to feel more engaged at work, thus helping them grow both personally and professionally.

Giving employees more responsibilities and opportunities to attend relevant procurement conferences, for example, will support their career learning and development.

Not only will having more engaged employees benefit the employees themselves, but also the business as a whole.

Create and foster a sense of connection with everyone within the company

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been hard for companies to create and foster a sense of connection with their fellow colleagues.

With employees working remotely, leaders and managers weren’t able to properly recognise and reward employees who had been working hard to improve procurement processes, both internally and externally.

When leaders, managers and employees are disconnected from one another, it can have a huge impact on employee morale, employee retention, and productivity. However, there are ways that you can create a sense of connection with your workforce, whether your team is working remotely at home or in the office.

If your team have continued working remotely, organising team activities, such as virtual quizzes or having one-to-one meetings, can help bring the team together, creating stronger connections between colleagues.

If your procurement team is operating in a hybrid working environment, you may organise an ‘away-day’, doing different team-building activities.

Employee engagement is a major priority for procurement teams as it can be the difference between losing or retaining talent.

By creating opportunities for employees to progress within their procurement careers, as well as focusing on their own personal wellbeing, leaders and managers can ensure that employees will want to work for them for many years to come.

Hiring managers and procurement leaders, how have you managed to retain talent in the era of The Great Resignation while increasing employee engagement and productivity? Share your experiences of how you’ve managed to retain top talent from leaving your company in the comments below.

Find more Career Development news, insights, and best practises at