If you’re running a fulfillment warehouse, you don’t have time to lose employees. Customers are waiting for their products, often impatiently. Any bottleneck at all can stop the flow of order fulfillment. And if you start leaking employees during times of high order volume, such as during holidays or discount sales, you could severely hinder your ability to send out orders on time, which can lead to angry customers and poor online reviews.
Owners and managers in the fulfillment warehouse business know that their operations must be highly-efficient in order to be successful. Every order is a ticking clock, and every expected delivery date feels like a promise to customers. All of these factors can make working in a fulfillment warehouse highly stressful, driving some employees to quit, even while on the job.
How can you lower your warehouse employee turnover rate? How can you turn a stressful job, like Warehouse Clerk or Distribution Coordinator, into a rewarding career that will make excellent employees want to stay with your company? There’s more than one way to make coming to work enjoyable, and they don’t all involve raising salaries.
How to Lower Your Warehouse Employee Turnover Rate
Losing employees is expensive. New people must be recruited, interviewed, and vetted, which costs money. New employees must be trained and onboarded, which costs money. Furthermore, new employees have a ramp-up period before they can even start creating the most value. And all of these processes take time.
So what makes employees want to stay, even when their jobs are stressful? There are many motivating factors. Sure, it’s important that your employees have healthcare so they can maintain high levels of job safety. But these benefits won’t keep your people motivated and satisfied in their jobs alone. Look beyond typical benefits when working to raise morale, because non-monetary incentives work. Not to mention, you need to have a way of motivating everyone who works at your fulfillment center that makes all employees feel included. Here are some ways to lower your warehouse employee turnover rate that reflect well upon your organization.
Hire People Who Are a Good Fit
Staffing a position is like finding true love: the perfect person is out there, somewhere. So how do you find them? It’s hard to find someone who is not under- or over-qualified, and sometimes you never know just who will turn out to be your next star employee.
Start by looking at the people you already have. Where did you find your best employees? How did you find them? Try looking for new employees in the same way and from the same sources, such as recruiters or specific resume websites. When you do hire a good candidate, give them every chance they need to be successful from the start. Give them a comprehensive onboarding period and establish good communication from them early on to prevent turnover later on. Like anything else, the more time you devote to filling a position, the better your chances are of filling it well.
Give Each Employee a Career Plan
People want to know that their jobs are leading up to something important, and that their careers will follow a progression. That’s why one major way of retaining good people is to learn what their career goals are, and to get them on an upward trajectory that makes them feel like they are making advancement. These can be moves between jobs and departments within the organization. Or they can involve actual promotions. So, whenever you have a position that’s above entry-level open up, start by recruiting from within. Not only will this allow you to take full advantage of the expertise and brand knowledge you have on staff, but it will give you a good name among employees who will be pleased to see that upward mobility is a real possibility. Finally, offer education and new skill training. Getting ready for an upwardly-mobile future is motivating in and of itself, and education is a valuable benefit in and of itself.
Learn Why People Leave
There are several reasons why people may be leaving your company, and you need to find out why. Monetary compensation is a major reason behind turnover, however, people normally don’t leave a job they like for this reason alone. Employees who are good at warehouse fulfillment positions are often energetic people who may become bored if they are unchallenged. But ultimately, all of these causes are speculation.
You need to communicate with your employees to understand what they’re thinking. That starts while people are on the job by developing good communication between employees and managers. Try to have an open-door policy and listen to worker problems and complaints before they can devolve into major problems. And when employees do leave, try to get them to complete exit surveys. You can also check employment websites that enable employees to write reviews of employers. These are both good ways to learn about the specific challenges that are causing your people to leave, but again, try to find out what’s bothering them before turnover occurs.
These are all great tactics. But the best way to lower turnover is to offer a system of rewards that every employee has an equal chance of earning. This can include branded items that employees will find useful, custom uniforms that means everyone has their outfit planned everyday, and graduated levels of rewards, that give employees bragging rights. Because a little friendly competition can make the workday more exciting, as well as raise productivity.
Motivate Your Employees With Incentives
Your business has an important role; you have customers to serve and vital orders to fulfill. Make sure you have the right staff ready to work, every day. Implement a customized incentive program that can make every member of your organization feel recognized and rewarded. It can make your people’s hard work and loyalty feel valued, which raises morale and leads to greater retention. That leads to better order fulfillment and customer service, provided by a team who really care about their work. Remember: happy employees are reliable employees.
Fulfillment warehouses are a critical part of the new online economy, and it’s important to understand that everyone working at a fulfillment center may be working under pressure. But by giving your employees recognition, you remind them of the big impact their work has, which can give meaning to even the most stressful of days.
At Inproma, our goal is to help make work an enjoyable experience though our incentive programs that incentivize, recognize and reward your workforce. Want to know how we can help motivate and engage your employees? Let’s talk.