The warehouse is a key component of a smoothly functioning supply chain. Warehouse staff are responsible for maintaining and managing inventory levels, picking, packing, and storing products, operating machinery, and a variety of other vital tasks. All warehouse tasks must be completed smoothly, safely, and according to company standards in order for the fulfillment process to work as it should.
This means that it is especially important that the training of warehouse employees is made to be a priority. However, it takes more than your warehouse training programs being a priority to ensure they successfully equip your warehouse employees; they also need to be thorough and consistent. Ultimately, many companies choose to partner with an experienced 3PL such as Redwood Logistics to help them achieve this.
In the meantime, to ensure your company is using best practices, check out our five key dos and don'ts for training warehouse employees.
Do Teach Order Tracking First
A great way to get employees to buy into a warehouse training program, as well as the company culture you wish to set in the warehouse, is by introducing them to order tracking right at the beginning of their training.
Taking this step gives the new employee a chance to see how their tasks fit into the narrative of interconnection in the warehouse. It sets up, for them, the concept of how every job is linked within the warehouse, and how all processes must be functioning smoothly in order to generate desirable results. Employees that feel their responsibilities are important and valued and can see how their work affects the whole community are more likely to stay engaged.
Don't Overwhelm New Staff Members
Businesses hire new staff when they have the need to do so, which often means work volume has gone up or hasn’t been processed at optimal levels prior to taking on more employees. It’s easy, then, to feel the need to assign full workloads to employees right out of the gate.
As tempting as it is to do this, it’s not wise.
Putting too much pressure on new staff members can lead to frustration, burnout, and rapid turnover. It’s better to ensure that the new team gets a complete and comprehensive version of the training and that their workloads match their level of experience until they get the hang of things. This prevents having to start back at square one when the overwhelmed newbie burns out, quits, and the training process is restarted.
Do Provide Consistent Training
Few scenarios can prove more problematic than inconsistent training. All employees should receive the same amount of training and should be training on the same protocols. When your training program needs to be adjusted to incorporate new technology or practices, be sure that every employee has been informed and trained on any needed updates and expectations.
Assuring that all employees receive the same comprehensive training can prevent failures in customer service or non-compliance with safety protocols or standards.
Don't Fail to Provide Resources for Questions and Concerns
Even the most impressive new employees who seem to grasp every expectation and anticipate every need quickly during training will have an adjustment period. This takes place as they begin to settle into their new position.
This applies as well to seasoned employees who have been moved to a new position or an entire staff that has been trained on a new process. It’s important to ensure that your staff knows where and whom to go to when they have questions or concerns about the implementation of a task or training process. Make sure that you or a certified trainer are available and can be contacted when these questions inevitably arise, or that there is another clearly delineated source where warehouse employees can find the answers to these types of queries.
Do Follow up With Warehouse Staff After Training Has Completed
After your staff training has finished up, be sure to check in with employees after they have had a chance to settle in and see how they are doing. Were there any areas during training they would like to revisit now that they’ve had time to put things into practice? Are there any resources or equipment issues that need to be addressed? Also, keeping in contact with the staff allows them to feel a part of the team and valued as a member. Be sure to spend time acknowledging and rewarding employees who are doing consistent work. Make an effort to acknowledge their contributions in front of your team.
There can and should be some divide between office and warehouse staff, but an equal measure of communication and inclusion can increase morale and foster community. Consistent follow up will help you instill a sense of pride in the work and build a sense of camaraderie among all branches of employees.
Want to learn how you can put together a successful warehouse training program? Redwood Logistics has a team of professionals that can help you not only put together a solid training program, they can also help you implement it correctly. Schedule your free consultation here.