Company culture: Five best practices to put in place at your Distribution Center

distribution center

Let’s face it: Working at a distribution center means long hours and hard work – but it is also a rewarding job that helps keep our supply chain up and running.
If you run a distribution center, you might be concerned about engaging your employees and improving company culture. It’s a great thing to focus on in 2024, especially since turnover in the industry can be high – up to 40%.

Luckily, there are several things to do to improve engagement and satisfaction at your distribution center – improving company culture too!
Here are five things to know:

Pay a fair wage: We know, this seems obvious and we aren’t immune to the challenges posed by rising wages. However, higher wages are something consistently mentioned by employees as a want. And we also know this: If you pay your employees fairly, they are not only more likely to stay in their job, but they are more likely to be happier and more engaged. If overall salary increases aren’t possible, financial incentives can also help, like bonuses, shift differentials and gifts.
Treat employees like the experts they are: Your distribution center employees are experts at what they do – and your company’s success relies on them. Including them in decisions and activities and events brings more job satisfaction and a sense they are an important part of your team – and they can provide valuable insights into what happens on the floor. Recognizing their efforts and hard work – aka bringing up the “extra miler” work you see is also a great idea. Listen to their opinions and give them a voice.  We’ve found that wage increases can often be self-funded by reducing employee turnover. The cost of turning over a warehouse worker ranges from $2500 to $5,000 PER EMPLOYEE. If companies are able to reduce that turnover rate, they also reduce their turnover costs — which could be applied to higher pay rates.

Expand autonomy: When working at a distribution center, autonomy might be hard to come by but it’s important to your employees to feel engaged and empowered. Their work can get repetitive but when you allow small amounts of autonomy, it can make a big difference. Think of ways to be more flexible.
Celebrate the little things: Work anniversaries, birthdays, meeting or exceeding deadlines. These little wins can add up and when employees feel like their hard work is getting noticed, they notice. And feel more engaged and happier. Having regular recognitions of milestones is a great way to acknowledge your employees. And celebrating them publicly can make a big difference.

Schedule periodic check ins: Many workers have annual reviews, but the best companies have regular check-ins with employees – usually quarterly – so it isn’t a shock if there are performance issues. It also helps to regularly check in so personal issues don’t become personnel issues. If someone is sick, dealing with an ailing parent or going through a divorce, it might show in their work but a good manager will know that and find ways to support good workers.
The bottom line is, your employees are people too. And a good distribution center owner will do things both big and small to help support their employees – and keep them happy and engaged in their work. This is a continuous process – and it can pay dividends for years to come.

Ignite Industrial Professionals

Are you a hard worker looking for a new job in the industrial supply chain industry? Or are you an employer looking for hard workers? If you want to learn more about SPARK Flex Platform, contact us today.