Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Reduce Impacts & Improve Forklift Operators' Performance

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jul 9, 2019 4:00:00 AM

To improve performance, we must acknowledge what’s holding it back. For example, having a creative strategy can reduce forklift impacts in your facility, and fact-based incentives can motivate your team toward its common goal.  motivation-3131641_640

First, you need a strategy. Here are a few facts and some easy solutions to help cultivate a plan for improvement

1. Happy employees are more committed to team goals, productivity and safety.

A Gallup poll found that unhappy employees cost the U.S. economy up to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.

Forklift operators can develop an unhappy mindset, become complacent about the inherent risk of their job, and feel uninspired to do any more than necessary. Why? Let’s face it: Their job is repetitive and often lacks any real incentive to do more or to spark personal inspiration.

The easy solution: Motivation is personal, so it’s important to always tell people why their work matters. Happiness on the job often comes from finding fulfillment and purpose in the work we do because it leads to a common goal. Use facts gathered from telematic operator report cards to provide verbal encouragement. Do it often. Create a fun individual or team competition that will reward the most improved operator performance each week.

2. It’s hard to fix something if you don’t know where to begin.

Changes and performance goals are more easily embraced when workers understand specifically what they need to do to improve performance, the steps to take, and why it’s needed.

The easy solution: When you discuss an employee’s lackluster performance, it should be one on one, without an audience of coworkers. Your critique should be based on facts, not just personal observation. And most importantly, this discussion should provide them with specific steps to take that will improve their performance. Finish this guidance with why it all matters — help them see the big picture and their role in it.

3.  Learn from history or be doomed to repeat it.

There are patterns in the accidents at your facility. Yes, some were caused by human error, but often poor visibility or traffic patterns are creating ideal conditions for accidents. Identifying the root cause and addressing it can be a game changer for safety.

The solution: Forklift monitoring software offers a level of detail that human observation never could. Examine your platform’s historical data and note any similarities you see in accidents, injuries, or near-miss situations. When you do this, patterns will emerge. Let the facts determine the best route for product movement.

It’s not complicated to create a strategy to reduce forklift impacts in your facility and motivate your team to improve their performance. Use facts, balance critiques with praise and direction, and be open to changing any old patterns or behaviors that have negatively impacted success or safety.

Topics: forklift impacts, goals, employee recognition, value driven strategies, operator behavior, operator report card, forklift operators