Teamwork isn’t as easy as it sounds. Managers can group warehouse staff and forklift operators into teams but putting coworkers together doesn't necessarily cultivate a team mindset.
There are several things you can do to help build a motivated, connected team of coworkers. The key is knowing your employees’ individual contributions and showing them that their work matters to you, their team, and the entire warehouse operation.
Team building basics
It doesn’t require a lot of time to make an employee feel valued and a part of an important group effort. For example, you can easily track an operator’s performance and productivity and communicate this kind of support if you have telematic information at your fingertips.
Here are few other ways to build a team mindset in your warehouse
- Consider each employee's ideas valuable. Nobody knows the productivity challenges facing your company better than those who are on the floor doing the work every day. Ask for their opinions and suggestions and use them to improve warehouse operations.
- Set clear team goals and communicate why they matter. If workers know why something needs to change or improve they develop a vested interest in the results.
- Provide team and individual recognition for a job well done. Your employees want recognition that demonstrates that you see their hard work and value them. This promotes continued hard work, because they know it matters and will be recognized. And recognition doesn’t have to be large – what matters to most employees is knowing that someone noticed their efforts. (Like mentioning their name at the next meeting)
- Recognize safety and maintenance improvements. Safety is just as important as productivity. Telematic “operator report cards” provide a complete view of an operator's compliance with safety standards, checklist completion, and overall performance on the warehouse floor.
- Share team results based on goals. Telematic platforms provide monitoring that easily tracks labor and any benchmark results. For example, vehicle and warehouse activity are linked through TotalTrax SX/VX software to deliver a direct correlation between job performance and productivity.
Team rewards and recognition ideas
Not sure what you can offer your team other than a quick verbal recognition? Here are a few ideas.
- Share their accomplishment. Put their name in the company-wide newsletter or post it on the bulletin board, along with a note about their exceptional efforts. Mention individual employees and their skills at a team meeting.
- Small token rewards, like gift cards. Consider a gift card that covers their morning coffee for a week or one that pays for lunch at a local sandwich shop.
- A little perk, like leaving work a bit early or an extended lunch break. This may cost more than a gift card, but it is a great incentive that employees will strive for.
Individual motivation increases when workers feel they have a vested interest in the outcome of team challenges. But facilitating a team mindset requires two-way communication, obtainable goals, and telematic monitoring to document individual and team achievements to be recognized.