6 Ways to Deal with the Turnover of Warehouse and Shift Based Staff

Be the business of choice in a competitive labour market and help improve your retention


1. Conduct interviews to understand why staff are leaving

Feedback is key: like a leaking pipe, you need to know what’s causing the leak to stop it from continuing. If you want to make changes, you need to understand what the problems are. What better way to figure this out than to ask staff directly? Perhaps introduce a standard set of questions and conduct leaver interviews to see if the same things crop up as reasons staff are leaving – a standard template makes this an efficient process for you.

You can get some ideas from Glassdoor which will help form your template. There may be some things that you can never change, but if they raise relevant and solvable problems you may be able to prevent further staff leaving and increase staff retention. It also shows you care as an employer and are willing to listen to concerns and take this on board. Word of mouth is a big factor when it comes to new applicants, so you want the last experience for employees leaving to be a good one.

2. Security and stability are paramount

As unemployment rates continue to rise, staff want to know that they can provide for themselves and those that depend on them. As of 15th December 2020, the UK unemployment rate is 4.9% and is predicted to rise as a result of COVID-19. If you are able to offer any form of security, then you automatically become a desirable employer. Likewise, it is important that your staff are paid well for doing a good job. Top employers pay their warehouse staff at least 50% above minimum wage. You want them to feel their employer understands that their work has value and their experience is important.

Regular performance and pay reviews are also recommended as this gives an opportunity for pay rises based on good work and encourages productivity. You should also consider the number of holiday days that employees are entitled to; this includes sick pay and maternity or paternity pay policies too – you can find UK specific information here. Of course, pay is not the only way you are going to retain staff, but it is a good starting point.

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4. Provide good training and keep it updated

There’s the initial training all employees receive when they join your company, but what does staff training look like from there?

Updated regulations as well as health and safety training all need to be conducted regularly to ensure staff are kept up to date. Staff learning and development is mutually beneficial; your team feel empowered and motivated to keep progressing and your business reaps the reward of having well-trained employees. If a worker feels like they are growing within an organisation, they are far less likely to look elsewhere. Paid training days are a great way to make sure you have everything covered and you should also ask your staff what training they think they need and consider this. 2020 has been the year of online learning and the digital space for upskilling will only become more prominent.

Providing training has never been more cost effective and easier to enact – rather than siphoning vital hours off by sending staff on a course, they can now do it from their own homes. Understand who is looking for promotion or training for different roles and help them to make moves within your business rather than look elsewhere. Think outside the box for training that will benefit both you as a business and your employees as individuals – you can find some ideas for courses here.

5. Give staff a reason to stay, make them feel recognised and supported

You need to pay your staff a competitive wage and help them develop, but what else gives them the motivation to come to your workplace each day? There is far more you can do to improve employee satisfaction than simply paying them more, which is seldom a long-term solution. One method of recognising staff is a loyalty bonus which shows that value is placed on seeing staff grow with a business. There are plenty of benefits that stem from implementing bonuses, not least the presence of consistency which reflects positively internally and to outside parties. Employee perks, no matter how small can have a big impact on staff morale.

Providing tea and coffee for example gives employees more time to rest and chat. Recognition goes a long way; extra annual leave or bonus days for high performing staff is a great incentive example. People like their hard work to be rewarded, if you show that you notice and give praise and accompanying perks, you are more likely to retain staff and nurture a happier warehouse environment.

Competition is an innate human trait, by instilling a sense of competitiveness and providing a tangible reward, you might just see some of the team shift up a gear or two.

That’s the recognition, but what about the support? With the extra strain 2020 has put on people, it is imperative that your staff know they have your backing as an employer. Whether that is acclimatising to the new way of work, easing back in after furlough, managing new home pressures or struggling with mental health, the challenges we all face can pile up. Providing a support network for your workers to know they are safe and have somewhere to turn is an invaluable tool at your disposal. It can be advantageous to you too, employees that are at ease in the workplace can be far more productive. Wellbeing is an ambiguous term, here are some ideas that might make implementing workplace support more manageable. By taking a few simple steps, staff are much more likely to recommend you as an employer to their friends and family doing wonders for your reputation.

6. Be a safe place to work

Previously this would have meant implementing the occupational health and safety measures that seem to be ever-changing and a continual struggle to keep up with. Whilst they haven’t gone away, the focus should now be on proving a COVID secure environment where employees can feel assured that their safety is ensured. As of June 2020, 45% of employees have said they felt some anxiety about returning to the workplace. Every action to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace should not only be taken but also conveyed clearly to all staff. This will help to put their mind at ease knowing that their health, the health of their families and those close to them will not be compromised when they are in work. Implementing these changes is an incredibly manageable necessity – the British Business Bank can offer advice and case studies to show how you can deploy these safety measures. Similarly, you can find out how to make your workplace as secure as possible from the Health and Safety Executive.

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