Warehouse work is a demanding job with high pressure, low temperatures and a lot of physical work; it’s no surprise that morale amongst staff can sometimes drop. That can have a big impact on their productivity, focus and accuracy, not to mention their length of service and, ultimately, your bottom line.
How can a warehouse manager create a positive warehouse environment to improve staff morale?
Staff should feel that they can progress in their career at your company and you can help them undertake training courses, either by training them yourself, bringing in external training providers, setting up online training courses, or allowing them time out to take external courses.
Give your staff projects or sections to own and their sense of pride in their work, and their workplace, can increase considerably. Your staff will become more invested in their work and will more than likely look for ways to improve their projects or sections, in turn improving the overall business. Your staff, as the people who do the doing, as it were, will be able to spot potential for improvements at a more practical level than management.
Teams who know and understand each other more are able to work together more effectively and you can encourage this through team-building events. While you cannot force friendship, you can encourage team bonds and camaraderie through shared experiences such as bowling, dinners, walks, indoor climbing, quizzes, escape rooms or an evening at the races.
The bonds made during these “extra-curricular” events translate to a more cohesive team during work hours.
4. Celebrate achievements
A small but noticeable habit is to highlight your team’s achievements, whether that is a promotion, a new qualification or a work anniversary. Recognising these milestones shows employees that they are seen within your organisation and that they are valued.
5. Safety and wellbeing
As well as providing the standard PPE that your staff may need, including helmets, masks and goggles, you can consider making sure your workers are taking care of themselves by providing water stations and refillable bottles, as well as snacks to keep them energised and focused.
Checking in on your team’s mental wellbeing is also very important; creating an atmosphere where your staff can discuss their wellbeing needs, and are listened to and supported, will help them feel valued and more likely to continue working for you. You may also consider employee wellness programmes that provide help and support for those employees who may be struggling.
Workers that have burnt out are no help to a business until they recover, so it’s best to avoid risking employee burnout altogether. Some ways to reduce the risk of burnout are to: ensure employees aren’t encumbered with too heavy workloads; ensure there are enough staff to deliver the work; promote a healthy work/life balance; encourage the use of holiday time; ensure managers are trained properly to support their staff; and to welcome employee feedback.
7. Rest space
While the warehouse may be cold and your workers may have to experience bad weather when loading stock onto trucks, make sure they have somewhere comfortable to relax during their breaks.
Toilets and handwashing facilities are a legal requirement (the amount of which depends on the number of staff you have), but on top of this, providing your staff with a warm break room that has comfortable seating, a fridge, kettle and microwave can go a long way in helping them rest and feel valued. You could also add in vending machines and, if space allows, a bonding activity such as a table tennis table.
You should be rewarding employees who do the same or similar work as each with the same or similar pay. Pay disparity can cause unease and tension between employees and negatively impact morale.
Savings made through improved efficiency, such as through utilising a Warehouse Management System, should be partially shared with the staff who helped deliver them.
How does improved staff morale improve warehouse efficiencies?
Motivated staff who feel positively about their work and their employer are more likely to be committed employees who show up on time and carry out their work enthusiastically. They’ll also look for ways to improve existing processes to find more efficient ways of working and better ways to serve the customer.
The benefits you see in your motivated workforce will almost certainly outweigh any costs incurred, such as for team events or wellness programmes.
The feelings of satisfaction, confidence, fulfilment and support that come with boosted morale and productivity put your team in good stead for a long and healthy working relationship that will support your business.
Optima is committed to boosting the efficiencies of warehouses; to find out how we can help you and your warehouse team, get in touch today.