Work in a warehouse is usually hard work, but that doesn’t mean it’s being done efficiently. Sometimes the work is being hampered by something. Lots of factors contribute to the productivity of workers and it’s hard to keep track of them. Here are some ways you can improve that productivity.
1. Improve worker comfort
A happy worker is a productive worker, or so the saying goes. Most of the work in a warehouse is done by the employees, so it makes sense that you would want to increase their productivity. Working long hours in awful conditions won’t do much for your bottom line. To save money, a lot of employers try to cut costs wherever possible, including things that make workers comfortable. This won’t improve much in the long run. If you seek to increase productivity, some adjustments should be made.
Consider having a lounge somewhere in the warehouse, so that workers can relax during their break. Get a couple comfortable couches, put on some soothing music and you won’t be hearing many complaints. It will show employees that you care. Best of all, it will increase employee retention and save you money on training new hires.
2. Keep things clean
With all the hustle and bustle in a warehouse, it is inevitable that things will get dirty. When you’re transporting lots of things inside and out, dirt and dust follow suit. Not to mention, warehouses are huge in both the vertical and horizontal axis. Dust will settle everywhere. The many machines workers use have their own problems. Things like oil or other machine fluids will certainly spill once in a while. Working in this kind of environment will slow workers down. Everything from health problems to the risk of slipping has to be taken into account.
Hiring cleaners is a great start, but you also have to change the cleanliness culture around the workhouse. Make sure workers put things where they belong, instead of just where it’s convenient. If an oil spill is present, it should be cleaned up before somebody slips on it.
3. Management presence can help
Warehouses are busy places, both for workers and managers alike. You won’t always have time to send someone to the warehouse to check up on workers. An occasional visit should be considered. If management spends some time in the warehouse, the workers will feel that their work is being appreciated and not ignored. It lets them know they are important for the company.
Without supervision, workers can slack off as they please. Another benefit of having supervisors in the area is that they can check on who is being lazy. Less diligent employees will be kept on their toes during management visits and will be more productive.
4. The machinery should be top notch
Working in a warehouse means using tons of equipment to your advantage. But workers can only do so much with what they are given. Working with low-quality machinery won’t give them any space to improve. Machines that respond faster and break down less will let their operators reach their full potential. Employers might consider buying lower quality things to save money, but that is the wrong way to go about it.
Repairing things will eat away at the budget as much as buying new stuff might. The only difference is that with high-quality equipment you won’t lose any productivity. If you get a mediocre forklift, for example, you’ll find that maintenance will cost you more than a new one. When you are in need of forklift sale and hire, make sure you get the highest-quality products.
5. Consider visibility
The work in some warehouses doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. When working at night, you should take visibility seriously. Workers are operating heavy machinery and lifting heavy loads by themselves. This can’t be done in pitch black conditions. You might be liable for any injuries that happen because of darkness in the warehouse. Keeping things well-lit shouldn’t be much of a problem, though.
There are several things to consider when improving your lighting situation. A large space needs either lots of lights or one strong light. Warehouses are generally deemed to be pretty large spaces. High-intensity bulbs should be considered for the job. Any difficult to reach spots should be taken into account as well. When loading and unloading things, the work can extend to outside the warehouse. Because of this, you should get yourself some quality fixtures fixed to higher ground.
Increasing worker productivity will lead to a jump in profits. Every employer knows this. Maintaining safe working conditions and paying a fair wage are some basic things to start with, but there is so much more involved. Efficient thinking will get you much farther than you think. Start thinking long-term and your warehouse will stay ahead of the curb.