Making your warehouse or distribution center excel requires a leader. Knowing how to truly lead a team, even when short on time and patience, is a critical part of a managerial role. But, being a leader who motivates others and knows how to delegate tasks is not as easy as it sounds, especially in a fast-paced work environment.
What can you be doing to lead your team better? Remember this: Setting goals requires leadership — obtaining them, however, takes skilled management. Let’s look at the basic components of leadership that help create a successful warehouse team.
Take the lead
- Give meaning to company goals. Most employees feel a greater connection to the outcome of their work if they fully understand why the goal is important and valuable. Share goal objectives and explain how their hard work will make it possible.
- Tackle tasks one week at a time. Some workers find it easier to focus on the task at hand rather than have the entire plan stretched out before them. Successful weeks build momentum.
- Ask for advice and insight. Get input from those doing the day-to-day work and choose specific tasks that need to be accomplished. Pick and assign tasks and new processes as a team, factoring in desire, skill, experience and capabilities.
- Recognize your workers in public and in person. Don't limit praise to just email or a voicemail message. Don’t wait to offer praise until the long-term goal is reached several months from now, but as weekly tasks are completed and achieved. Most importantly, recognize positive actions, not just achievements.
Once the team is working toward company goals together, managers will have more time to focus on problem solving and proactive, versus reactive, management. This often requires delegating some of basic-level tasks that you do to qualified team members.
Let go of some responsibilities
Delegating tasks without worrying that they’ll get done correctly can be hard for some mangers. It is important to choose your helpers based on facts.
Feel confident when delegating tasks by:
- Incorporating telematic data when deciding on task assignments. Look at each operator and how they are performing compared to others, whether they complete safety checklists as expected, and if they speed or break rules to get the job done.
- Creating a list of a few people on the team that you feel you can trust to complete tasks safely and successfully. Your advanced telematics system can provide everything you need to know about your operators’ behavior, how well they perform under pressure, and if they always complete tasks in a safe manner.
- Choosing tasks that fit the employee’s skill set. In other words, have trust, but know that the assignment will not be too much for them to handle.
Creating a dedicated and motivated team is key to achieving warehouse or distribution center improvement goals. Delegating tasks based on telematic insight, which don’t require a manager’s skill set, allows you to focus time and expertise on avoiding challenges that reduce productivity or safety.