Happy Warehouse Workers are Productive Workers.
But how do you increase staff morale and motivate a group of employees to work hard and help your business grow? As a business owner, you need to maximise revenue and increase productivity, which means you need your warehouse workers to work as efficiently as possible.
Technology and logistics are moving at a phenomenal pace. Staff wellbeing should be a top priority.
The warehouse work culture is still stuck in the past. Compared to the modern day office and spotlight on staff wellbeing, the warehouse is archaically depressing. Granted, it’s an industrial hub and not exactly a designer shop, but that doesn’t mean a stimulating and pleasant working environment should be curbed.
Your warehouse works are responsible for shifting items from A to B on behalf of global brands so it’s important they are looked after just as much as the rest of your employees around your company. That next day delivery the customer has been promised and a flawless customer experience is partly in the hands of the warehouse employee scanning, swiping and screen tapping for hours on end.
If you’ve not spent time inside, most warehouses are giant soulless hangars that can be freezing cold, boiling hot, noisy and dim, with too much artificial lighting and barely any home comforts. Typically, there is a ‘clock on clock off’ mentality and low motivation. There may be banter but also a general lack of team spirit, collaboration and loyalty.
Warehouse employees are the heart and soul of warehouse operations.
The productivity of your warehouse workers depends on their wellbeing and ability to implement efficient processes in the supply chain. The more they improve, the more profitable the warehouse will be. A more comfortable, enjoyable and flexible working environment will encourage employees to bond and perform to the best of their ability.
The warehouse floor is busy, somewhat dangerous, and not the place for fancy sofas, inspiration walls and an video games, but what stops these being available elsewhere in the vicinity, giving employees a place to chill out and socialise when on breaks?
Break Out Areas
A break out area describes any space open to employees that is separate from their usual working area. It can be a place for employees to relax, eat their lunch and even hold informal meetings. Companies can sometimes see a break out area as an unnecessary but employers should consider the benefits and how this will impact on the company’s performance before ruling them out. The fact is that, with the right environment, a breakout space can become an invaluable work area.
Lastly remember to bear in mind that warehouses do not have many windows and is absent of natural light, lighting in your break out areas can play an important role in creating a comfortable, light and mood lifting environment. Linking artificial lighting cleverly with the natural daylight can ensure optimum lighting conditions whilst minimising energy consumption.
When it comes to technology, many warehouses are not keeping up with the times.
The next generation of workers who’ve grown up in a fast-paced digital world will be expecting touch screens, apps, intuitive interfaces and smart devices. If the warehouse technology is slow, unreliable or outdated they will become despondent and eventually leave, resulting in high staff turnover.
Is the latest technology the key? The concept of talking to a machine may not sound like a great motivator, but voice technology and the latest WMS solutions have been found to have positive effects on warehouse workers’ work-life balance and overall wellbeing.
The system can provide clear guidance and direction over the course of the shift, enabling greater efficiency whilst reducing frustration and errors. As instructions are given on an as needed basis, pickers can concentrate on single actions without distraction or delay, thereby reducing errors.
Technology is only as good as the people operating it. So even the best device in the world isn’t going to perform if the user has no respect, neglects it, fails to report problems, or resorts to cutting corners and manual methods like pen and paper. If, as employees, they feel valued they are surely more likely to proactively offer feedback or report a fault. Whilst product training can help, improving moral nurtures a positive attitude, boosted in part by a welcoming workplace.
So how could we motivate warehouse workers even further?
When it comes to using bonus payments as a motivational tool, you need to be cautious, in case you incentivise the wrong behaviours. However, a gainsharing scheme, in which warehouse operatives can increase their earnings by raising productivity, is one way to both motivate staff and encourage desirable behaviour. The key benefits of gainsharing are:
- Employees have an opportunity to raise their income.
- It encourages a continuous increase in warehouse productivity.
- It motivates employees to look for ways to improve warehouse processes, engaging them in the drive to meet operational objectives.
It’s important though, to control for behaviour which targets productivity at the expense of quality or safety. One way to do this is through the application of penalties, which nullify or limit an employee’s bonus payment when safety or quality issues are identified.
Warehouse logistics is a job that requires everyone to pull together, so it’s important to build a sense of belonging within the team. Investing in regular staff get-togethers outside of work can really pay dividends to create a happy, sociable and productive workplace and increase staff morale.
Remember employee happiness is one of the keys to success. If you have warehouse workers that are engaged and happy, the company will grow and errors will be reduced, resulting in a better bottom line and good staff morale.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The Clarus WMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
Clarus WMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.