Are you struggling in attracting and retaining warehouse workers?
Warehouses provide the foundation for effective supply management in a number of industries. Far more than storage sites, they provide for timely deliveries and satisfied consumers. In spite of this, the warehouse is often under-served by leaders at the corporate level. As a result, the employee turnover rate is astonishingly high in warehouses across the country.
Worker retention and attracting top talent in the warehouse are two of the trickiest situations to navigate. Labour is a huge operational cost for any warehouse and having to constantly replace talent due to a high turnover rate can make those costs stack up drastically.
Challenges ahead of attracting and retaining warehouse workers
Before diving into tips for retaining warehouse, employees and attracting the best talent, it is important to develop an understanding of the challenges and reasons that employees are harder to attract and keep on board. Some of these challenges include:
Keeping talent past the first three years. As an employee goes into their first years of employment, they will begin to analyse the benefits of working at the company and staying long term. An employee will investigate potential for growth, a positive relationship with the management team, and opportunities for training. While they may be enthusiastic about the new job, particularly in the first year, they may begin to look elsewhere if they feel it isn’t worth staying on long-term with the company.
Dealing with strong competition in areas with a high-density of warehouses. The more warehouses in your area, the more you will have to worry about competition taking your potential or current employees. When jobs are abundant and people to fill them are limited, potential employees have the luxury of shopping around and finding a company that best fits their needs. If you aren’t able to keep up with the competition, you will be left scrambling for talent. So make sure you review your business to ensure you keep attracting and retaining warehouse workers.
Handling the training process. Technology is constantly changing, and in addition to training new employees, it is necessary to continue to train current employees as new practices come into play. Introducing a WMS system can significantly increase the speed and efficiency in this area.
Shifts that aren’t attractive to the modern employee. Demanding warehouse needs often mean long shifts that are rigid and inflexible, and those aren’t always the most attractive option for employees—due to both the fatigue and the lack of flexibility that comes along with it.
Generation X is slowly ageing out of the workforce and leaving jobs open to be taken. The problem, however, is that there isn’t as expansive of a pool of millennials who are coming in to fill this gap. Many millennials simply aren’t interested—or are unaware—of the opportunities that exist in warehouses. With less millennials coming in to fill these jobs, a staffing shortage dilemma is arising.
If you want to ensure retention and attract the best talent, you have to focus on the factors that members of the workforce are looking for, as well as the unique needs of your community. After analysing these aspects, you can work towards establishing an atmosphere that fosters those requirements and be better equipped for retaining warehouse employees.
Here are some actionable steps you can take to create the best environment for current and future employees.
This is probably the most obvious point when establishing tactics on how to attract warehouse workers and retain current employees, but it is one that many managers aren’t always willing to face.
Benefits and Incentives
Great benefits and incentives can also persuade employees to stay onboard for the long haul. Benefits like health care and retirement saving plans can make a huge difference in the lives of employees, so many consider this to be incredibly valuable when looking for a job. Other incentives like bonuses, paid time-off, and more can also be significant for current and potential employees.
Training & New Technology
Training programs are also essential, as it will help employees feel up-to-date and fully confident in their function in the warehouse. Introducing the latest technology such as cloud WMS solutions, will also have a huge impact on attracting and retaining warehouse workers.
Flexibility is a necessity to many workers and can be a major deal-breaker when it comes to considering a job. By offering flexible scheduling options, you may even open up your recruiting to a wider range of workers, like students, people with parental duties to attend to, or those with other jobs. Flexible scheduling creates a much more attractive environment, as it gives workers better ability to balance their personal life with their professional life in a way that works best for their specific needs.
Manager – Employee Relationships
For many employees, it is important to have a solid relationship with management. Positive relationships between managers and employees can make a huge difference in the overall job satisfaction.
Change with the times
The Baby Boomer generation is reaching retirement age – the last of them will reach 65 in 2029 – and millennials aren’t terribly attracted to careers in warehouse work. Therefore, warehouses will need to change with the times to keep attracting and retaining warehouse workers.
Millennials are famous for breaking from trends and shattering precedents. Whatever changes they promise to bring, the fact remains that they make up the majority of the warehouse workforce. They’re also proving particularly difficult to retain. As previously mentioned, millennial professionals have different attitudes toward their career than previous generations. Millennials are all about the work-life balance, so offering things like above can entice millennial workers to stay in warehouse jobs and work toward advancement within specific organisations.
As employees are the backbone of the warehouse industry, so it’s up to managers to change the way that they work to create an industry that retains warehouse workers and turns the industry into a place where people want to work – and where they want to build their careers.
While turnover rates may be high, it is possible to take steps towards retaining warehouse employees and creating an environment and job that is attractive to new talent. By taking action and implementing these steps, you can develop a warehouse working community that is highly sought after by employees in an industry that is increasingly competitive between employers.
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 ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfilment and manufacturing warehousing.