Reading the article “Do you know what makes your procurement team tick?” by Odelle Brown, Executive Director at Evolve People, got me to thinking about one of the old reliable adages in relation to conferences and training, being that one of the reasons people attended was because it demonstrated to them that their employer valued them and was prepared to invest in them. As Odelle points out, providing training and growth opportunities has traditionally been seen as one of the ways that companies looked to keep their employees engaged and fulfilled.
However, my market intelligence and coal-face experience tells me that there has been a significant decline in conference and training attendance by procurement practitioners in the last 2-3 years. While there will obviously be exceptions to this, most organisations appear to have cut spending on external training and conference attendance. Initially – in the last quarter of 2012 – we put this down to a general lack of business confidence that brought across-the-board cuts in discretionary spend. However, while some areas of spend have come back strongly, the market for training and conferences has never recovered its previous position.
In a discussion yesterday with one of the region’s leading recruiters for procurement, he made the observation that average lengths of tenure in procurement positions was continually getting shorter; to as little as 18 months. While he provided a number of reasons for this, it did make me wonder whether the lack of investment in development was also a contributory factor.
It would be interesting to get feedback on whether or not you think your organisations are investing sufficiently in your development and as a result whether or not you feel valued by your current employer? Do you see that kind of investment as important in terms of how much you feel valued by your employer and would it be a contributory factor in any decision you might make in regard to whether to look for a new position?
I appreciate that answering these questions publically either on this site or in discussion forums on Linkedin might pose problems (particularly if your responses are negative in regard to your employer!), so I have set up a very short, anonymous survey here (3 questions, yes/no answers and the opportunity to comment if you wish)
With the release yesterday of the latest NAB business sentiment survey showing business confidence returning and business conditions at their best level for a number of years I wonder if we will start to see this translate into greater investment in training and development of procurement professionals? Or is there a deeper problem in regard to procurement itself and how it is currently valued within the organisation? This will be the subject of another blog next week.
Take the 30 second survey here
Odelle Brown will be appearing on a key panel at the 3rd PASA Premier ConfeX entitled “Looking for super-people” in which we will explore how we find, develop and retain the kind of people needed to thrive in the modern procurement function. The Premier ConfeX is on 14/15 October at Crown Promenade, Melbourne.