Logistics can be a highly satisfying job, but it’s also one that requires discipline and teamwork. It’s vital for warehouse employees to feel happy at work and get on well with their colleagues. You might think warehouse employee motivation is all about money, but it might surprise you to learn that there’s more to keeping staff happy then what’s in their pay packets.
Whatever the nature of your business, when staff are happier in their jobs, they are more likely to work harder, be more receptive to new ideas and ultimately, make your warehouse a better and more successful environment to work in. When this happens, your operations become more successful. Here are some top ways to keep warehouse staff happy and motivated:
1. Training & Development
Get your new warehouse employee off to a good start with thorough training. Encourage them to ask questions and ensure they’re supported if they have difficulties. Ongoing training should always be part of the routine. This gives everyone the chance to brush up on existing skills, resolve uncertainties and prevent bad habits from setting in. Staff will be confident and motivated, and the business will run more smoothly as a result.
2. Automation in the Workplace
Wherever possible use the latest automation methods. Time spent walking round the warehouse locating bins and the correct computer terminals is wasteful, inefficient and tedious. Mobile workstations, hand-held devices and automated bins will reduce the time taken to complete tasks. Your warehouse employee will be more productive, and it makes their daily routine more rewarding.
A warehouse management system (WMS) designed specifically for use in warehouses should also be able to optimise picking routes for multi-item and single item orders. Not only will this save your operators money on buying new soles for their shoes, it will speed up the picking process, allowing for more orders to be picked per person per hour.
3. Health & Safety
Never underestimate the impact of a badly thought-out workplace. Cramped and dirty areas are depressing places to spend a shift and can be dangerous if machinery is involved. This hardly encourages staff to give it their best effort or indeed to stay around for long. Clean, well-lit areas are more cheerful and safer. Your warehouse employee must know that their safety and wellbeing is important to the company.
4. Create 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 and keep staff motivation high. It has also been found that meetings conducted in a more informal environment, such as break out areas, are more productive for brainstorming and idea generation.
5. Flexi Time
Shift work plays a large part in the running of your warehouse. People’s preferences will vary, and it won’t be possible to please everyone, but careful and considerate planning will ensure no one is stuck with the unpopular shifts for long. Support this further by operating a shift swap system to give more flexibility and choice with working hours. Your warehouse employee will greatly appreciate the freedom to manage their work schedule.
6. Encourage responsibility
Even diligent staff will struggle to maintain their focus if they’re stuck in the same role for years. Employees need the chance to experience new jobs and take on more responsibility. Involvement in training new recruits or planning a big project for example will make people feel valued and more involved with the business.
7. Implement staff reviews
Regular reviews ensure everyone is fulfilling their full potential and identify any problems. By encouraging feedback you’ll learn more about your colleagues and may well spot other areas of the business where they are better suited. If your warehouse employee enjoy what they do they’ll be more efficient and motivated, so use this process to get everyone in the right place. They’ll be happy and the business will benefit as well.
8. Offer incentives
Financial incentives for meeting targets are a great way to encourage productivity and provide a big boost for everyone. When extra money isn’t feasible there are other ways to reward good work. A surprise lunch or cake on someone’s birthday will go a long way to showing appreciation and fostering good will. A simple thank you from a manager or colleague makes people feel their contribution is valued.
9. Opportunities for progress
Many people would like the opportunity to learn new skills and progress through the company. Working with staff to understand their goals and helping them with a career plan will encourage them to fully engage with the process and they’ll reward your support with diligence and dedication.
10. Share the company goal
Everyone is an integral part of the process. Management should keep all staff informed of company goals and progress on new projects. If times are hard be as honest as you can and work with your team to make improvements. If they understand their input is valuable, they’ll be motivated to give it their best effort.
11. Keep everyone informed
Economic fluctuations and with Brexit loaming, can lead to a host of changes that directly affect the staff, from shift patterns, wages and bonuses to the purchase of new equipment and the implementation of new projects. Details of these issues should be shared with employees to avoid confusion and dissatisfaction. If people are kept informed, they’re far more likely to rise to the challenge in a positive way.
Everyone responds well to appreciation, encouragement, guidance and respect. Your employees are no exception. Time and effort devoted to your workplace relationships creates happy, motivated and productive staff – vital ingredients to keep your business on top.
If warehouse employee motivation is high, your employees are effectively engaged within the warehouse environment, and you could see a 48% decrease in safety incidents. Motivating your warehouse employees and ensuring employee engagement is high has many other benefits such as; 22% increase in profitability, increase the happiness of employees, reduce workplace accidents and essentially increase productivity meaning there is 100% efficiency from your employees.
Don’t forget to look at automation. A warehouse management system (WMS) designed specifically for use in warehouses should be able to optimise picking routes for multi-item and single item orders. Not only will this save your operators money on buying new soles for their shoes, it will speed up the picking process, allowing for more orders to be picked per person per hour.
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 fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.