One of the significant challenges facing companies that provide warehousing services is a labour shortage. Warehouse employee turnover is costly, time-consuming and decreases operational efficiency. Warehouse managers need to find and implement solutions for increasing employee retention to improve productivity and keep their employees long-term.
The best solutions to warehouse turnover usually aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your warehouse’s issues may be unique, requiring you to implement tailored approaches to reduce worker attrition. Learn how to deal with warehouse turnover and discover strategies for improving employee retention in this guide.
What Is the State of Warehouse Turnover?
Warehouse turnover is at an unsustainable high internationally, with warehouses struggling to attract and retain qualified workers. According to a recent job opening and turnover report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the separation rate for employees in the warehousing, transportation and utility industry was a whopping 49% in 2021.
These separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, among other categories. Such a high turnover rate is troubling for warehousing companies, especially because it’s predicted that the worldwide number of warehouses will grow steadily through 2025.
Understanding what causes this attrition rate is essential for warehousing seeking to improve employee retention. Warehouse employees may have a variety of reasons for leaving their positions, including:
- Low job security
- Misaligned job expectations
- Inadequate pay
- Poor support from management
- Intensive productivity requirements
- Injuries at work
- Little opportunity for career growth
Tips for Improving Warehouse Employee Retention
By utilizing a few strategies, your warehouse can better manage the factors contributing to employee turnover and make your warehouse a place where employees are glad to work. Here are seven tips for how to deal with warehouse turnover and improve retention:
1. Improve Hiring Processes
Reducing warehouse employee turnover begins during the hiring process. Implementing better strategies for finding and screening talent can help a warehousing business attract and hire candidates who are more likely to remain at the company.
Consider using these strategies to improve your warehouse’s hiring processes:
- Utilize an employee referral program: Optimizing your recruitment funnel is essential for finding talent. Sourcing applicants through an employee referral program allows you to filter applicants through your current employees, which can result in a better quality hire.
- Be as specific as possible in your job listing: Including more details in your job listing can filter out the applicants whose expectations don’t align with the position. Your job advertisements should demonstrate your warehouse’s working conditions, company culture and scheduling practices.
- Put more priority on soft skills: Look for employees with soft skills like problem-solving, cooperation and time management to find workers who are willing to grow in their roles and stick with your company.
2. Train Your Management
Your managers have a significant impact on your employees’ satisfaction. From new hire onboarding onward, your employees need managers with solid management skills. Invest in training your supervisors to support workers, schedule shifts and delegate duties to keep workloads even. Your managers might also benefit from increased training in soft skills like communicating clearly, listening with empathy and understanding workers’ challenges.
3. Keep Communication Between Workers and Management Open
Improving communication between workers and management can help manage worker expectations and make employees feel listened to and respected. A regular, effective feedback loop gives your HR and management teams the insight they need to develop and implement worker retention solutions.
Seek feedback from your workers to hear which strategies are going well and which may need tweaking. Gather employee feedback through anonymous surveys about your programs, workplace culture or productivity expectations to better understand your workers’ needs. Your warehouse may also set up a mentorship program where seasoned employees check in with new hires to support them and increase communication.
4. Maintain a Clean Warehouse
From electrical hazards and hazardous chemicals to falls and improper equipment operation, warehouse workers often face a wide range of risks. Warehouses are rarely spotless, but keeping them clean is essential for maintaining warehouse safety and improving efficiency.
Develop a routine for keeping your warehouse tidy. Employees should properly use all equipment and safety systems and promptly clean spills and messes. Ensure employees keep aisles open and remove clutter from work areas. A cleaner warehouse is one where workers are less likely to be injured and can better manage their daily tasks.
5. Offer Positive Reinforcement and Growth Opportunities
Positive reinforcement for high productivity and efficiency is an excellent incentive for your warehouse employees to boost operations. These strategies also show workers their efforts are valued. Provide rewards and positive reinforcement for a job well done to motivate employees to renew their efforts.
It’s also essential to provide growth opportunities for your warehouse employees. Your warehouse likely uses technology like warehouse management and picking systems that offer workers advanced skills. If you can demonstrate that workers gain upward mobility through their use of these technologies, you might encourage better retention. Offering career development programs can also demonstrate your investment in workers.
6. Measure Improvements Objectively
Tracking improvement is crucial for determining whether your worker retention strategies are making a difference. Perform regular workforce performance audits and track performance metrics to determine what changes are taking place over time. Measuring improvements also gives your warehouse a more objective way to identify areas of improvement.
A few key performance metrics to track include:
- Monthly retention rate
- Employee involvement in career development or mentorship programs
- Utilization of worker feedback surveys
- Shift attendance
7. Provide Effective Training
Warehouse workers need a base of knowledge on which to build new skills they learn on the job. Employees who feel unsupported during their onboarding period may be more likely to quit sooner. Encourage your workers’ success by providing them with the skills and preparation they need to get up to speed quickly in their new position.
To provide the training your workers need, build a training strategy. This strategy should include performing a self-assessment of your warehouse’s training needs, ensuring you understand the safety regulations applicable to your warehouse and hiring the right people to help train your workers. Operators should be trained to follow safety tips for operating forklifts and other equipment.
Utilizing warehousing equipment training ensures employees receive proper training to minimize risks and improve efficiency.
Improve Warehouse Efficiency and Safety With Equipment From YIT
Getting the right people in your warehouse and retaining them long-term is essential to your warehousing business’s success. The best solution might involve a combination of strategies, but with planning, your company can improve its efficiency and reduce warehouse turnover.
If your warehouse is looking for new warehousing equipment like forklifts in Quebec or other parts of Canada to improve warehouse safety and employee retention, choose equipment from YIT. We offer a wide range of award-winning warehouse equipment, including forklifts, floor-cleaning equipment and commercial and industrial vehicles. We also provide technician and operator training on our warehouse equipment in Quebec, Ontario, and beyond to ensure your workers know how to use our equipment properly.
To learn more about our solutions, browse our equipment to find equipment like forklifts in Ontario and beyond. You can also locate one of our professional dealers near you.