According to Business News Daily, work-life balance is "a state of equilibrium." Walking the line between personal and professional lives is a challenge for any employee — but that task may be even more difficult for warehouse workers, who regularly face high-stress situations and tight deadlines.
To help your employees achieve that equilibrium, you can improve the work portion of their work-life balance. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Schedule some flexibility
It seems impossible to "schedule flexibility," but this paradox might just make all the difference for your warehouse employees. Whenever possible, give them the option to tackle their tasks from home — but have them schedule remote work ahead of time so you don't end up wondering where they are.
2) Provide plentiful vacation days
Vacation days give employees the opportunity to enjoy their personal and family lives outside of work. They're also a job perk — one that can make workers content to stay in their position for longer. A generous vacation schedule shows employees that you want them to enjoy life, not just generate revenue.
3) Encourage a culture of rest
According to the U.S. Travel Association, 52% of employees reported having leftover vacation days in 2018. That's not a problem with vacation days themselves, but with the cultures surrounding them. Make sure you encourage employees to actually use their time off, giving them the chance to rest without worrying that they'll disappoint you, their teams or the company.
4) Help them connect to one another
Fostering worker connection might not make your warehouse feel like a second home, but it can come pretty close. Employees who feel comfortable connecting, socializing and working together have a more reliable network for asking questions, solving problems and relating to their environments in positive ways.
5) Prioritize health of all kinds
Health isn't just about warehouse safety. It's also crucial to make sure your workplace is psychologically secure — and to do that, you'll need to find ways to put mental health front and center. For some organizations, this means offering robust access to psychological care; for others, it's more important to make sure employees communicate their work struggles to business leaders. However you choose to approach psychological safety, make sure workers know you're treating them as complete human beings.
6) Let them know you're listening
Sometimes, all you need to do to support a warehouse employee is to listen. This can be a challenge, since you may want to jump in and try to talk out a problem or address struggles with hands-on solutions — but try to stay quiet and let workers do the talking. You never know what you might learn.
7) Lead by example
Managing your own work life is just as important as helping others manage theirs. Lead by example and spend time creating a healthy environment for yourself — for instance, by setting and tracking measurable goals to give yourself a confidence boost or by taking breaks when you need them.
8) Make work important — but not too important
Warehouse workers want to know their jobs are important — to you, to their teams and to the customers you're serving. However, you don't want to make work feel like the most crucial thing in the world. Help employees understand that, while their roles matter, their lives matter even more.