Warehouse work is both physically and mentally taxing. Temperatures can be extreme, the pressure is high and workers put their bodies through a lot in an eight-hour or longer shift. The stress of warehouse work can lead to decreased morale, burnout and even employee turnover. Here are some tips you can use to keep morale high on your warehouse floor so engagement and productivity remain high.
Focus On Safety and Well-Being
Warehouses are dangerous places. Hazards range from daily physical strain to slips and falls through life-threatening accidents. It is important for morale that leaders prioritize safety above all else. Workers often feel pressured to cut corners on safety when they are under tight deadlines, but adherence to safety practices keep productivity high by reducing the chances that an accident will halt operations.
It is also good for morale to encourage workers to take regular breaks to rest and rehydrate as well as encouraging practices like stretching to help prevent injuries associated with repeated stressful motions. When you prioritize safety and well-being, it builds trust in the workforce by showing employees that leaders care about their health.
Research shows that music can boost productivity and morale in the workplace. According to one study, 73% of warehouse workers report higher productivity when music was playing in the background. Music helps pass the time and can boost concentration. However, According to Cambridge Sound Management, the best types of music to play are styles like classical, jazz, instrumental, movie and tv scores, video game soundtracks or naturescapes. Lyrics can distract workers and there is always the chance that lyrics in some popular genres could offend people.
Take time to recognize employees who go above and beyond. Consider rewarding employees who post consistent safety records, those who exceed output expectations and those who receive promotions. Many warehouses also have peer recognition programs that allow employees to nominate their coworkers for accomplishments and good deeds they see on the floor.
Cross-training employees on multiple functions serves several purposes. First, it helps break up the monotony of routine and gives employees something new and exciting to look forward to. It also ensures that if an employee calls off or leaves the company, you have a bench of trained employees who can step in and pick up the slack. Finally, cross-training also helps identify high-potential employees who can be coached and trained into supervisory and leadership roles.
Burnout is a common issue in warehouse work. Overtime is often the norm, and while employees appreciate the occasional opportunity to earn extra money, consistent overtime will crush morale. During periods of high demand, incorporate temporary workers to help ease the strain on your existing team without damaging productivity.