No matter how automated some parts of your warehouse are, much of your success depends on your warehouse workers. This is especially true during the Christmas rush.
In this post, we'll look at eight practices for treating employees well during the holiday rush. If you put these practices into play, employee morale can remain sky high even during the most crushing shipping frenzies.
If you aren't aware of the value of your workers, both core and seasonal, you aren't likely to make the effort to keep morale high and safety paramount as the holiday squeeze builds.
Not everyone is physically or temperamentally suited to every position in the warehouse. High quality employees are important year round. It's especially important, though, to hire seasonal workers who are suited to the demands of the job. Only hire people who you think can succeed.
Warehouse safety best practices are especially important during the busiest seasons. Nothing tells your employees that you don't care about them like an unsafe work environment.
In addition, if an employee gets hurt because you're cutting corners on safety you could be in a heap of legal trouble, and nobody has time for that during the Christmas rush.
If you're in a part of the country that has winter (like we are), things are cold. Nothing communicates respect, courtesy, and care like making sure that your employees don't freeze.
Heating warehouses can be tricky, but there are some best practices that you can follow. These keep many parts of the warehouse bearable.
When you can't control the temperature around your workers, make sure that they have the proper gear to stay warm.
Cold isn't the only winter issue in a warehouse. Snow, rain, and slush can all come tracking in the doors and make mess of your floors. In addition to being unpleasant, dirty floors can be a safety issue. Take the proper steps to keep the floors clean, either by cleaning up after the fact, or preventing the mess in the first place.
The holidays are also no time to slack on best practices around warehouse clutter. A cluttered environment is unsafe and unpleasant. It's hard to maintain morale under these conditions.
Great warehouse workers are one of your best assets for combatting warehouse inefficiency. In addition, nothing beats down employee morale like the feeling that supervisors or managers aren't interested in their knowledge or concerns.
If your warehouse workers come to your with safety or work environment concerns, assume that their concerns are legitimate until proven otherwise. And if operations aren't running as smoothly as you would like, check in with your warehouse workers to see if they've noticed what the problem is.
Warehouses are hard work, especially during the holiday rush. You're working hard, and there's no reason that your workers shouldn't as well. However, you should learn to spot the difference between an employee working hard, and an overworked employee.
This item is a bit of a judgement call. There is no one-size-fits-all guideline for when employees are overworked. Follow best practices for hiring and training workers. Remember legal rules regarding work hours and overtime. And remember that over-tired employees are more likely to have or cause accidents.
Say it with words, say it with rewards or bonuses, say it with some extra time off in January. However you can do it, let your warehouse workers know that you appreciate all of their dedication, effort, and sheer grunt work.
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