Warehouses in just about every part of the country are facing similar issues today: There aren't enough people available to fully staff every open warehouse job in a given region. For that reason, the similar issues of employee retention and recruitment should be front and center for any logistics operation, because an inability to attract workers and keep them around could hold businesses back from reaching their full potential.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help companies improve their workplace morale and provide a little more certainty and satisfaction to their warehouse workers on an ongoing basis:
1) Cutting-edge spaces
One of the reasons many people may be wary of warehouse work is that they might not have the best idea of what a modern facility looks like, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. In the popular imagination, warehouses might come across as big, dark, loud spaces without a lot of options for employees to take a restful break. Companies can change that perception with some key changes, such as installing more lights (or windows), opening up space wherever possible with modern shelving and providing safer and better facilities for people to work in overall.
"I think there's an expectation from employees that their work environment is going to be conducive, professional and more tailored to the employee than it ever used to be," Ian Griffiths, president of a Green Bay architecture, engineering and design firm, told the newspaper. "I think there's a better chance at recruiting and retention."
2) Solicit feedback, and follow through on it
The fact of the matter is that no workplace is perfect, and relatively few are even close, according to Global Trade Magazine. With that in mind, companies need to do more to make sure they're listening to employees about what works well for them within a warehouse, and what has room for improvement.
There's no better barometer for what's happening on the ground in any facility than simply talking to employees; taking time to regularly check in with those workers - whether formally or informally - to see what needs to be improved upon will be key to maintaining morale.
3) Master the schedule
One of the biggest stressors in any worker's life is when they don't have a reliable schedule, according to business expert Serenity Gibbons, writing for Forbes. The idea that they might have to work different hours on different days every week, and never have a set idea of when they'll be scheduled next, can really be a problem for them and their families. When companies can make sure they give everyone a stable schedule with plenty of notice of any changes, that helps keep employees happy.
4) High pay, great benefits
The biggest differentiator for many workers, however, is whether they feel valued by their employers to the extent that they are well-compensated for the hours they put in. When they can command at least competitive hourly wages and rely on solid benefits packages, they are more likely to both come to and stick with a company in the long run.