The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has experienced a lot of turnover in the last few years. According to Deloitte, over half of FMCG companies have experienced significant increases in voluntary attrition. Much of that is due to burnout. McKinsey research found, “Consumer-goods and retail employees were 30% more likely than employees across all industries to feel that they always needed to be available for taking calls, answering emails and attending meetings around the clock.”
In addition, FMCG talent is in high demand from other businesses and sectors. That’s because the FMCG skill set (e.g. negotiation, adaptability, collaboration and business focus) is well suited to many other businesses and industries.
Recruiting new talent may sound like a logical solution to the turnover problem, but because of high competition in the talent market, it’s not an easy endeavor. “It is often challenging for FMCG companies to attract suitable talent from outside the sector, increasing the pressure to focus consistently on retaining and developing their talent,” explains executive search company Pedersen & Partners.
The need for new skills
To retain valuable employees, FMCG companies will have to act fast to reskill and upskill workers, as new skills are needed in the post-COVID-19 business landscape. Some of those skills include creativity, empathy, analytical skills, digital proficiency, and working well under pressure.
Many employers in the FMCG space are shifting their focus from hiring new talent to upskilling and reskilling existing talent – to best keep up with changing business needs and demand.
PepsiCo is an example of a FMCG brand that is dedicated to developing their employees. In 2022, PepsiCo launched an educational program to expand upon their “pep+” (PepsiCo Positive) initiative. The new education program allows employees to enroll in 100+ flexible education and upskilling programs – debt free.
Similarly, India’s Hindustan Unilever has committed to upskill all 21,000 of its employees by 2025, according to The Economic Times. Other FMCG companies are sure to follow suit. In fact, Accenture found that 86% of European companies plan to upskill or reskill a quarter of their workforce within three years’ time.
How to approach reskilling workers
Reskilling and upskilling current employees offers companies numerous benefits. Among them are cost savings over hiring external candidates, higher worker performance, shorter ramp-up times and greater employee engagement. But how do you go about starting a skills-first initiative and ensuring its success?
A full scale Talent Lifecycle Management approach can help. Treating talent management as an end-to-end cycle can ensure you don’t leave out any important aspects of the employee journey. This type of approach focuses on skills rather than on roles or jobs. As such, it helps companies attract, nurture and grow their workers over time. Employees, in turn, feel highly valued, which makes them more likely to stay engaged in their work and workplace long term.
The key to successful Talent Lifecycle Management is accurate and dynamic data. Your company likely already has at least some data about each of your employees and their skills. But are you using that data to its fullest? Do you even know where the data resides in your tech stack? And is it up to date?
At the heart of true Talent Lifecycle Management is a centralized talent data platform that serves as a repository for all talent-related data in your company – for both internal employees and external candidates in your talent pipeline. This single source of truth gives your Talent Acquisition team full visibility into the skills that are available across your organization, equipping them with vital information to personalize training programs that will help upskill employees to fill gaps internally.
Put AI to work for you
Powered by AI, a Universal Skills Platform can infer skills from available talent data, and enables your disparate HR systems to speak the same skills language.
In other words, it’s able to glean skills that workers may be able to develop based on previous work history, current skills and capabilities. AI can make connections between new skills that are needed within the business and worker aptitude to develop those specific skills that are in demand.
That means AI can help your company suggest lateral employee moves that will quickly fill gaps in your business and that will help keep your valuable workers engaged and motivated.
According to PwC, 77% of workers are eager to learn new skills. Why not give workers what they want? An AI-driven Talent Lifecycle Management platform and Talent Marketplace can help you formulate learning and development programs designed to keep your top talent engaged, performing and productive. Reskilling FMCG employees makes good business sense and will help these fast-paced organizations gain the skills they need to keep up with ever-changing demand.
“One of the greatest challenges employers face when seeking to introduce new technology is culture, and upskilling is one way to help create a culture that is ready and able to help implement new approaches,” sums Dan Lucy, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies.