Welcome to part 2 of our Warehouse Employees series!
Previously: How to Keep Your Warehouse Employees Safe
Warehouse work has a reputation as a hardened place. Your company does not have to add to the negative entourage of warehouses where employees are miserable, or worse — dropping dead. While a corporate office model for happiness might not jive with a warehouse workforce, there are still several ways in which you can increase employee morale and become a company where people clamor to work.
Warehouse work is physically exasperating and often repetitive. Encourage workers to communicate ideas that may increase efficiency or better working conditions. Their innovations could lead to increased profit and a happier, more engaged workforce. Schedule weekly or monthly meetings where employees contribute ideas on how to make the warehouse a more pleasant place to work.
Don’t Fear Automation
Automation comes with dirty connotations in a warehouse environment because people believe it often leads to layoffs. Automation can be good when it cuts out repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up human consciousness for headier tasks. Repetition becomes monotonous and leads to complacency.
Instead of viewing automation as a tool to cut down on your human workforce, strategically consider how freeing up a worker from a repetitive task can help you utilize their critical thinking for a higher level task. The employee will be more engaged and more receptive to automation if you provide a clear path for advancement.
Invest In Updated and Safe Equipment
One sure way to make your employees feel unimportant is by using faulty equipment. Make a loud proclamation of appreciation by having updated equipment that works properly and is safe. Workplace injuries caused by eroding equipment plummets morale quickly and makes workers question whether you value them beyond a means for profit.
Provide Reliable Work Schedules
Cut a stressful variable from your workers' minds, by creating reliable work schedules, so they have more energy to focus on their work. Not knowing what your schedule will be each week makes it hard for anyone to plan long term. A twelve-hour shift is not a happy surprise for an employee expecting an eight-hour shift. As the adage goes, "those who fail to plan, are planning to fail." Hire managers who are both conscientious and orderly to ensure your company plans to succeed.
Attract Young Talent
Warehouse work is laborious. Young workers have a natural endurance edge, and it’s no secret that many young men and women are jobless. Young workers crave purpose and advancement opportunities. Properly articulate how reaching certain goals could advance their position. Give feedback regularly. Encourage older workers to be inclusive instead of cliquey. Consider starting a mentorship program between veterans and rookies. Warehouse work is reliant on teamwork.
Meet Basic Needs First and Foremost
Companies, like Amazon, are quickly generating bad public relations from tell-all articles about conditions within their warehouses. There is no reason for a denial of an employee's basic rights, like using the restroom when they need to relieve themselves. Make sure your warehouse environment is comfortable as possible — regulate temperature and provide easy access to water. Any manager that cuts down on necessities for the sake of hitting time quotas will eventually do more harm than good.
Take care of your employees and they will reward you with increased efficiency, loyalty and make a better place for you to work as well.
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