As more and more people get their COVID-19 vaccinations and the world comes closer to normality, keeping a dependable workforce on hand will remain crucial to safe and smooth operations in the warehousing and supply chain industry. Even as the pandemic draws to a close, though, many of the changes that it necessitated will continue to impact how managers and warehouse workers perform their jobs.
If you want to increase your chances of retaining skilled warehouse workers after COVID-19, there are several things you could do to improve your relationship with your employees and make them more likely to stay with your company for years to come. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as the industry transitions away from the measures required by the novel Coronavirus and tries to decide which ones to maintain for the future.
While the various vaccines available to American workers are effective in preventing COVID-19 from producing life-threatening symptoms and seem to prevent the spread of this disease to a great extent as well, there are still plenty of other illnesses that could spread from worker to worker on your warehouse floor. For this reason, the relaxed approach to sick leave brought on by COVID-19 is one thing that warehouse managers should retain after the pandemic ends.
Allowing workers to take sick leave without fear of retribution is a practical decision in terms of improving your employees’ morale and protecting your business interests. One worker taking a day or two off to get over a cold might result in a minor drop in daily productivity, but allowing them to work while sick and potentially spread their illness to other workers could result in a much bigger problem down the line if multiple employees end up too sick to perform optimally.
Likewise, remaining flexible when it comes to shift schedules and start times could help your business operate more efficiently while also allowing your employees to maintain a healthier work-life balance, which in turn should make them happier and more productive at work. COVID-19 forced managers in every industry to prioritize the health of their employees, and continuing to do so going forward will help with profit margins as well as worker retention.
As masks mandates and COVID-19 case numbers lessen, the psychological toll that the pandemic had on the warehouse workforce should not be overlooked. The stress of additional safety measures, unknown future prospects, and of course the potential loss of family members and loved ones to this devastating disease contributed to burnout in every sector of the U.S. economy, which made it more important than ever for employers to keep their employees’ psychological wellness in mind.
Something as simple as acknowledging and rewarding good work performance, seeking feedback from employees, and remaining open to questions and concerns will continue to make a massive difference when it comes to retaining warehouse workers after COVID-19. By promoting a positive work environment, you are in turn promoting a more productive one, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved in your operations.
Perhaps more than anything else, COVID-19 made everyone rely more heavily on ordering things online, which in turn made fast delivery essential to profitability in the warehousing industry. Both now and in the future, decentralizing the delivery process and leveraging existing distribution networks will remain crucial. By working with an experienced 3PL provider like Brown West Logistics, you could maximize distribution efficiency while still focusing on the unique day-to-day issues that running a business presents.