During the holiday season, many organizations suffer from a strain on business assets and available products. In their pursuit of efficient operations and inventory management, companies can't lose sight of their employees' satisfaction or they may find themselves without a motivated workforce to carry out tasks during periods of high demand.
CNN reported on a story that could be a worst-case scenario for many companies. Amazon warehouses in Germany - which is the company's second largest market after the U.S. - plan to strike the day before Christmas. An action like this may bring smaller companies to a halt, but luckily for Amazon, they have other warehouses in the area and the organization said it will still be able to handle the holiday rush.
The Amazon workers said their protest is in regard to a need for better pay and benefits. These are not uncommon concerns, and there are other problems which may cause warehouse employees to halt operations to satisfy their demands. Here are three ways businesses can improve warehouse management to meet the needs of their employees and prevent turnover and walkouts:
Payment is often an issue that divides workers and management. Business New Daily suggested sharing information with employees it the best way to show a company is honest with them. When companies can show warehouse workers exactly how much their efforts are worth and what the business can afford, employees will understand when they receive a fair wage.
The best way to demonstrate transparency is with hard numbers. Leaving room for interpretation may cause employees to grow suspect. Managers should provide employees with access to daily data collections that show how warehouse activities compare to overall company success. If information is stored in a centralized software system, users can see how activities correspond.
Some businesses might be best served by a gainsharing system. Organizations could offer employees increased wages based on productivity. As long as the company has an automated data collection solution ready to capture accurate details of task progression, it can offer appropriate incentives for quality work.
Businesses hire employees for specific tasks, but sometimes expanding operations cause managers to ask workers to take on extra responsibilities. If this is the case, organizations have to make sure they don't burn their people out on busywork.
It may be beneficial to invest in back office intelligence assets to simplify tasks and ensure employees spend their time on jobs that utilize their skills. Daily work should be challenging enough to stimulate warehouse agents, but not be difficult due to needless steps or wasted energy. Modern technology solutions can simplify activities and streamline reporting requirements. When a company adopts a practical solution for inefficiency, employees know the organization recognizes when a task is beneath the employee's talents.
Entrepreneur said executives have to give employees the resources they need to accomplish their goals, as opposed to business assets that just get in the way. For instance, mobile data collection devices are more practical for most warehouse workers than paper-based and manual systems. A simple information system that automates workflows saves time. If an organization can find a productivity-boosting technology like voice picking, employees can keep their hands free to perform optimal warehouse operations.
Some automated data collection software solutions allow employees to utilize the system on their preferred mobile device. Instead of learning a complicated reporting procedure, workers can use the equipment they are familiar with. It makes training simple and cuts down on mistakes that slow performance.
When companies use warehouse management solutions that prioritize convenience and flexibility, they can provide their employees with autonomy. Systems that respond to new ideas allow for individuality. If workers try a new task or need to adjust their schedules, a complete record created by an automated data collection solution can show how the change affects overall operations. Complete visibility can lessen the risk of innovation or help design quick fixes.
Flexibility is also beneficial to executives. In the Amazon example, the company was able to carry on due to operations that could roll with the punches. Technology and strategies that makes life easier for the company should also be available for daily workers so they can share in the organization's advantages.