Boosting morale in a warehouse environment: Our top tips.
In Warehousing, employee labour costs account for well over half of the operational expense, thus, making employees one of the most important assets of the operation. But how do you keep these vital assets engaged, productive and most of all happy?
Ensuring morale is high with your employees allows them to be happier and has an incredible impact on productivity. It can lower absentee rates, creating less need for hiring, and training, thus saving costs. Most of all, employees deserve your attention and care. They are the backbone of your business and can be the difference between a failing business and a thriving one. So it led us to question what are the key ways to boost morale in the warehouse?
Below are some key areas to consider:
At the heart of most employees is the desire to be treated with respect, which means being treated fairly. When employees see other colleagues being paid more for the same amount of work, a sense of unease and unfairness can affect their morale levels. This can be rectified simply by using an open compensation system, which matches industry rates and clearly outlines the criteria for pay brackets.
Another way to ensure compensation doesn’t negatively affect morale is using a system such as gainsharing, which allows employees to reap the benefits of their hard work. Gainsharing, in particular, works well when productivity is rewarded alongside the quality of work and positive customer feedback.
It’s also essential for warehouses to ensure bonuses, holiday pay and flexible shift change practices are in place, giving employees all the benefits they need to live happy and balanced lives outside of the warehouse.
2. Foster Ownership
Similar to gainsharing, an essential aspect of high morale is the sense of ownership any one employee has for the business. Granting employees more responsibility over their work can dramatically improve their sense of pride in the business. Other tactics can include getting employees involved in finding answers to the problems that arise in the warehouse. After all, they are the experts on the ground, so not only will they provide the answers you seek, but you’ll gain invested employees.
It’s also important to consider that warehouse employees want to be treated as professionals. Respect, pride and acknowledgement are essential factors in ensuring employees feel appreciated, which in turn increases loyalty and job satisfaction.
At the heart of most employees is the desire to be treated with respect.
3. Having Fun/Staff Benefits
Morale isn’t always fostered directly in the workplace. Sometimes it is built outside between employees, which translates back into the work environment during shift hours. Teams who know and appreciate each other often work better together and become more productive.
However, you can’t force friendship, instead focus on encouraging camaraderie. Warehouse teams can bond during team dinners, bowling, rock climbing or even theatre shows. People find it much harder to leave friends than they do a manager.
4. In the Warehouse
Everyone likes to feel special once in a while, but this is often a temporary feeling. To ensure morale stays high, investments need to be made into creating a great employee environment. This can be approached from two angles.
Employees want to feel valued.
Consider upgrading the break room to include modern facilities such as new vending machines, drink facilities, and even music options. Employee lockers that are secure are a must, and why not add a splash of colour. Heating is also key. Warehouses can often be cold, and employees are exposed to unkind weather elements during their shifts, so ensuring they have a warm, comfortable place to rest is essential for maintaining morale.
Be a leading employer.
It’s important to provide the best tools to your employees for the job. Outdated, or sub-standard, tools which make your employee’s life more difficult and increase their frustration, is a direct ticket to low morale. Solve this simply by purchasing new, warmer uniforms and overhauling all the tech and tools used. This will save money in the long run, trust us! What’s that saying; buy cheap, buy twice?!
Teams who know and appreciate each other often work better together and become more productive.
5. Professional Growth
Finally, and potentially most importantly, encourage your employees to grow. Humans crave growth and often desire to know where they are headed and how they might get there.
By providing a pathway for them to follow, they will stay motivated and feel supported by you, thus ideally increasing their loyalty. This is also a fantastic opportunity to identify potential within employees to promote them into new roles within your business, thus retaining all the knowledge and experience they’ve gained whilst working for you.
However, it’s important to note, whilst promotions are often going to happen, they can leave other employees feeling dejected and, at times, bitter. By providing regular feedback to all employees on their progress, you can avoid creating this feeling and allow for employees to carve their own path to success. They’ll soon stop looking at others, as they’ll be so focused on their own development.
What are some ways your increase employee morale in your warehouse? We’re always open to suggestions at Bray Solutions.
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