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8 Ways to Reduce Warehouse Turnover Through Employee Recognition

If employee turnover at your warehouse is keeping you up at night, you’re not losing sleep alone. Labor is the biggest cost for any DC. The average turnover rate for warehousing is 40%, and with an estimated loss of $7000+ per exiting employee, the costs can add up quickly.

So how do you reduce warehouse turnover?

Over the next few weeks, Faire Labor will share strategies that make light industrial employees stick around. Today, we’re going to talk about employee recognition.

Why is an employee recognition program so important for your warehouse?

Appreciated warehouse employees feel valued by their supervisors and peers and arrive to work with a sense of purpose. The impact of a well-implemented recognition program is undeniable. In a recent SHRM survey, 68% of respondents said their company’s recognition program positively affected retention, while 56% also experienced benefits in recruitment. Another study by Bersin & Associates showed that companies who institute such programs experience 31% less voluntary turnover.

Here are 8 ways to reduce warehouse turnover using an employee recognition program:

1. Recognize staff for specific achievements or results

Don’t make the mistake of giving out awards arbitrarily for a “feel good” effect. That will quickly dilute the program’s value. And while it’s nice to honor tenure milestones, such as employment anniversaries, keep those separate from a recognition program that awards outstanding performance and results.

2. Customize the program for all positions at your DC

Not all warehouse positions are the same, so your recognition program shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. For instance, the goals and recognition criteria for a picker packer will differ from a mechanical assembler. Make sure you design your program to take those differences into account.

3. Include contingent and seasonal workers

Include every worker, whether salaried or hourly, full-time or part-time, in your recognition program. Motivation, reward and celebration benefit all workers. If you have a light industrial staffing partner, like Faire Labor, they should already have a recognition plan in place for their workers, and can help you implement it throughout your contingent workforce.

4. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

While employees like acknowledgment by their supervisors, peer recognition can feel more genuine, encourages team spirit, and motivates staff to work collaboratively. Management can still be part of the process but drive the program by asking warehouse staff to nominate coworkers that shine.

5. Promote your employee recognition program internally and recognize often

Continually remind employees about your program and the criteria for recognition. Don’t let your efforts falter because warehouse workers aren’t aware the program exists. Awarding employees infrequently or inconsistently is a guaranteed way to lose traction.

6. Celebrate the winners

Recognize those stellar employees in a way that wows. A little pageantry can have a big impact, so don’t just hand them a certificate behind closed doors. You recognized your employee for doing something outstanding, so reward the accomplishment publicly. This will inspire other workers in the warehouse to step up their game and earn their turn in the spotlight.

7. Adjust your program to include new and critical objectives

As your business goals grow adjust your recognition plan to support them. Whether it’s warehouse cleanliness, safety, utilization of equipment, improved use of warehouse space, or other productivity improvements on your goal sheet—tying them into your recognition program will help you get results.

8. Use employee recognition as a recruitment tool.

Recognition programs can retain employees, but they’re also an excellent way to attract prospective hires. Promoting your DC as a recognition-rich workplace can draw in talent that may feel undervalued at their current job. Advertise your program in literature, social media and in job postings. And if you’re recognizing employees, you can bet they’re sharing that story with family and friends in the industry.

Need a reliable, flexible and motivated warehouse workforce? Contact Faire Labor today.

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