How well warehouse employees perceive they are treated on the job can affect a company’s profits and growth potential. Your warehouse work culture is either positive, supporting your business objectives, or negative, adding one more obstacle in the path to profitability.
Researchers at the University of Delaware compiled more than 70 studies and found three major components that affect business growth and worker retention: kindness, supervisor support, and favorable job conditions. When these elements are in place, most employees, including those working in a warehouse environment, experience "Perceived Organizational Support (POS)" for most employees, including those working in a warehouse environment.
When employees feel their contributions to their organization are valued, and their employer and supervisors care about their well-being, they feel a positive connection and responsibility to help the business reach its objectives. They become “team players.”
This positive POS is attributed to a sense of job satisfaction and commitment from workers, which results in higher employee retention and less absenteeism. This reduces costs associated with hiring and training new employees, the occurrence of shifts that are short staffed, and the amount of overtime paid to those covering a vacancy.
Can kindness and praise really boost productivity?
When your warehouse environment is friendly, and coworkers help each other out, the atmosphere is comfortable, and fear of confrontations or negative interactions is reduced. A study published in the Academy of Management Review found that employees in this type of work culture provide better service without prompting and are readily willing to assist coworkers when help is needed. This results in an increase in productivity levels and achievement of goal and objectives.
Six steps to create a positive work culture in your facility:
- Engage your employees – Involve employees in determining that need to be improved. Listen to what they’re saying.
- Communicate - If challenges are not acknowledged, those experiencing them will develop resistance. The solution is open communication and letting employees know their challenges are recognized and understood by management.
- Delegate - Reach out and train team members who are natural leaders first. Once they are trained, they will be great role models and influencers for the rest of your employees. It has a ripple effect.
- Use data – Telematic data will demonstrate areas of your business in need of improvement and pinpoint successful results. For example, you can track an operator’s performance and productivity using your telematic reports and then recognize their strengths.
- Celebrate success – It’s important for employees to know they made a difference.
- Reward – Incentivize those who recommend improvements or report near misses.
Data from your telematics system is beneficial to your team for several reasons. It shows digestible facts about current conditions and exactly where the changes made by the team resulted in improvements. It can help build a motivated, positive work culture. The key is knowing your employees’ individual contributions and showing them that their work matters to you, their team, and the entire warehouse operation.