The pandemic gave workers an opportunity to think hard about what they wanted from work and life. Employers that don’t address work-life balance, provide predictable, regular, and flexible schedules, and a living wage will lose out in the highly competitive post-pandemic labor market. Try some of these ways to attract and retain warehouse workers.
Pay a Living Wage and Good Benefits
Warehouse workers are no longer willing to endure long hours and dangerous working conditions for wages that can’t support a family. Another aspect of offering a living wage is offering corresponding benefits that make life easier for employees, including health insurance, transportation credits, retirement plans, and employee assistance programs. Businesses that realize that their investment in people builds loyalty and a stable workforce will have a better shot at attracting and retaining warehouse workers.
Provide a Livable Work Schedule
Post-pandemic workers want both predictability and flexibility in scheduling. This means being creative with establishing split shifts or four-day work weeks. You could also offer annualized hours, where employees work longer shifts during peak months and shorter ones during slow months, for a steady, predictable amount of pay over the year.
Offer Career Advancement
The warehousing workforce is aging, and a good percentage of warehouse workers are headed for retirement. Not enough younger workers, with long careers ahead of them, are entering the field. Younger workers may not see warehouse work as something that could provide a fulfilling career. Instead, they see it as a way to pick up some fast cash before moving on to a “real” job. Make career paths toward management and promotion clear. Help employees set career goals, identify paths toward their goals, and work toward achieving them within your organization.
Locate Distribution Centers in Attractive Areas
Choosing the right location for a distribution center is critical to successfully staffing the new warehouse. Younger workers who could receive training and experience, then rise within the company, gravitate to cities with vibrant downtowns offering housing within walking distance of recreation, shopping, restaurants, and bars.
Businesses must balance their logistical needs for access to transportation and proximity to their end-user customers with the available workforce or the location’s ability to attract workers to the area. Many of the best cities for distribution centers also boast vibrant downtowns and attractive suburbs with good schools to attract workers.
Warehouses are inherently dangerous work environments. Demonstrate you care about your workforce’s safety by providing comprehensive and ongoing training, complying with all regulatory health and safety requirements, and providing emergency shelter in case of severe weather.
Get Involved in the Community
Workers want to be involved in something meaningful, and they want to see positive results from the work they do. Community involvement like support for local charitable organizations, youth sports, and arts organizations shows that the business is invested in its community and cares about the quality of community life. Incorporating sustainability into your operations will also help attract workers who care about the future, both for the company and the earth.