You can’t afford to turn over your warehouse crew constantly. That’s important and bears repeating: turnover is expensive. It costs valuable resources to find, hire, and train people to work in your warehouse. Once you’ve invested all that capital in an individual, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how you can motivate them to do their best work while on the job and keep them working for you for a long time. Here are five tips to motivate and retain your warehouse crew:
Let’s start with the most obvious answer: money. Yes, higher wages will attract more workers and make recruiting easier, but higher wages don’t drive higher output, nor will they necessarily engender loyalty. But money is about more than compensation. In addition to paying competitive wages, employers can offer other financial incentives and rewards based on achieving productivity targets or other business objectives. Rewarding, important performance such as output, service, safety, and accuracy benefits all parties.
Money will only get you so far. Warehouse workers are more likely to stay when they feel respected and when their work environment encourages feelings of status and pride. Warehouse work is hard; savvy employers honor that by keeping their facilities clean, investing in ergonomic equipment, offering generous benefits, and being present on the floor to get to know their staff personally. These and other similar efforts foster job satisfaction and loyalty.
A Clear Career Path
No one wants to pick inventory for the rest of their life. Warehouse work can be monotonous; your employees want personal growth and career improvement. Make sure you clearly communicate to your crew the opportunities for growth and promotion and what they need to demonstrate to move up the ladder.
Again, warehouse work is hard. It’s physically demanding and can be tedious. Warehouse work also tends to be shift-based, meaning that many of your team work shifts make it difficult for them to socialize with and enjoy friends and family. Make creating a healthy work-life balance for all team members a priority. Someone always has to work the less-than-desirable shift, but it doesn’t have to be the same someone all the time. Be flexible about shifts, allow changes, and maybe even offer financial rewards for taking the rough shifts. Be creative in demonstrating that you value your employees, even when they aren’t working.
We’re going to say it again: warehouse work is hard. Your crew is really only as good as the tools you provide. Equip your warehouse with the best material handling lift equipment and other tools to optimize picking, reduce strain, and enhance safety. You’ll have much better luck with productivity and retention if you give your team what they need to get the job done.
Investing in your team is money well spent.