Many people across the country are experiencing a labor shortage. Unemployment in many cities is at an all-time low. There is pressure in new competition as more and more facilities are constructed, and rising wage pressures. When it comes to positions in warehouses and distribution centers, there are some additional challenges that we all face in getting employees for both hours and management positions. However, one thing to consider is that many companies have policies that may be contributing to their shortages of employees.
Are These Companies Creating Or Exacerbating Their Own Labor Challenges?
Companies need to evaluate traditional HR and hiring practices that have served companies well for decades. The new reality of today’s employees makes some of those policies outdated. When it comes to hourly employees, we hear more and more that schedule flexibility is high on an employee priority list.
Does your company offer part-time work, either by having just a few days of work per week or even a partial shift to accommodate something like school schedules?
This scheduling certainly increases the complexity of scheduling to ensure the crews have the right number of people to complete the work, but many times is a way to increase flexibility to open the door for more candidates.
Employee Engagement Programs
The other area to consider is increasing any employee engagement programs you have in place.
- Are you providing regular feedback of performance to not only your facility leadership but also the hourly employees?
- Do they understand how they fit in the overall picture of the company goals and how they have an impact on performance?
- Is there incentive pay that aligns expectations and accomplishments with what the company finds necessary?
- What feedback mechanisms do you have? What continuous education or learning can you provide your employees to invest in them and their skills?
Hold Managers Responsible For Retention In Their Departments
That enforces the engagement process, and also helps them shape an effective employee orientation program and onboarding process. Instead of having employees just hit the floor and get to work, leaders are more engaged with these employees and can understand and provide feedback on why turnover exists in the first place.
Evaluate Your Hiring Process
Finally, companies need to evaluate hiring requirements and update appropriately. Some require high school or advanced degrees for supervisor candidates, while many seasoned warehouse managers have learned on the job. Another social change is the legalized use of marijuana. Companies need to evaluate their drug screening process to determine the best policy matched with any risks or safety issues for them. Finally, extensive background checks can sometimes limit the opportunities for those who have genuinely made mistakes in the past but are ready to contribute to society.