Any warehouse manager knows that finding ways to increase warehouse efficiency and productivity are an important part of the job. There are several ways to improve efficiency, including reducing waste, automating processes, optimizing workflows, and implementing specific HR strategies. Warehouse processes are complex with many moving parts and functions happening at the same time so it’s important to narrow down the strategies that will be most effective for your business. In this article, we will review how to increase warehouse efficiency and productivity through HR strategies.
10 Ways to Increase Warehouse Efficiency & Productivity through HR Strategies
1. Offer incentive pay
Your number one resource for improving productivity and efficiency is your workers. If you can find a way to keep them motivated and focused on the company’s productivity goals, productivity will improve. One of the best ways to keep employees motivated is to offer incentive pay for performance (above and beyond hourly wages).
2. Make safety a priority
If you want to reduce the number of days your employees are out sick or injured, make safety a priority in your warehouse. At a minimum, all mandated Hawaii occupational safety and health practices should be followed to keep your workers safe. A safe workplace will also reduce workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity due to injured employees.
3. Provide training opportunities for warehouse managers
Warehouse managers with access to training resources and who are kept in the loop about overall company goals are more likely to recognize inefficiencies and have the ability to come up with creative solutions to improve warehouse efficiency.
4. Invest in thorough training processes
If you want to set up employees for success, you must invest in thorough training processes. Initial onboarding and formal training are a must – this is an opportunity to stress the importance of both productivity and safety – but ongoing short training sessions from direct supervisors or outside contractors should be provided as well to keep workers up to date on new standards and company goals.
5. Maintain a flexible workforce
It is in the company’s best interest to cross-train employees to perform different tasks in the warehouse. This way, if a worker calls in sick, it will be easier to find someone to fill in. Start each day with a brief-meeting to go over that day’s goals and incentives.
6. Create a company culture that encourages productivity
If you want to keep productivity up, it’s important to have motivated employees. In order to do this, ensure that the warehouse culture is positive, respectful, and fun. Encourage employees to share ideas that could help them stay focused on their work and/or otherwise improve productivity. A couple of ideas are monthly competitions with rewards and coffee and treats provided in the break room.
7. Ask employees how to improve productivity
Effective managers may be able to observe inefficiencies but workers experience them. Ask employees for their insights about productivity and process issues that could be improved and then come up with a plan to address them.
8. Focus on retention
In today’s labor market, competitive wages and benefits are a must to attract and retain workers. It is really expensive to hire and train new employees – not to mention the loss of productivity – so a focus should be on employee retention through competitive wages and benefits and a positive and respectful work environment that offers opportunities for promotions.
9. Use standard measurement tools to measure performance
Management should use standard measurement tools to measure repetitive employee tasks such as counting inventory or picking orders. The data collected can provide information about what is a reasonable time to get important tasks completed. Training can then be provided for employees who are performing below average.
10. Recognize top-performing employees
Workers love to be appreciated for their hard work. Recognizing top-performing employees is a great way to make workers feel appreciated and to encourage other workers to work hard so they can receive that type of recognition. One of the best ways to recognize top-performing employees is to choose an employee of the month and reward them with a special parking spot, gift card, cash bonus, or paid day off.
Need HR help for your small business? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long and changes happen). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services, and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet, or phone. We can truly improve your employees’ work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!