Online shopping is so convenient it’s easy to forget about the harsh working conditions that retail and warehouse employees get subjected to. Earlier this year, there was a huge backlash against Jeff Bezos’s Amazon. Employees, especially during the holidays, complained of 60-hour weeks and increased ambulance calls. They talked about workplace injuries and fearing to call in sick for work.
This is the reality that warehouse employees face every single day, especially during the busiest retail holidays of the year. Companies who own these warehouses barely care if the industrial concrete floor needs repair. They want packages shipped, regardless of the working conditions of their employees.
Companies must be accountable for the well-being of their employees, regardless if they are the richest man in the world like Bezos. If you operate a warehouse, you should strive to do better. Here are some tips that will make the working conditions of your employees better:
Make Safety a Priority
A warehouse job is manual work. At Amazon, employees need to walk 13 miles during a 10-hour shift. They operate heavy machinery and cranes. They lift and carry packages of varying size and weight. These take a toll on their bodies.
Make sure that prospective and current employees are aware of the safety measures that you have in place. Be transparent with them about the dangers of doing warehouse work. Ensure that employees are following strict safety guidelines. They need to see that as a company, you are investing in new systems and technology that will make their work conditions better.
Keep the Warehouse Clean
Sometimes, keeping the warehouse clean and organized is all it takes to improve the safety of your employees. Many accidents can happen when the warehouse is not in order. Slippery floors can cause falls. Uneven stacking of items can cause injuries. Uneven flooring can cause heavy-machinery accidents.
Don’t simply brief them about the safety regulations and guidelines. If they are working with heavy equipment, make sure that they are trained to operate it. Some of the heavy machinery found in warehouses includes mechanical loaders, electric stackers, forklifts, and lifters. Verify that your workers have received proper training to handle certain pieces of equipment, especially those that require certification.
Meet with Them Regularly
Be present at the warehouse. As the manager or owner of the company, your presence is very important to the workers. It makes them feel that you value the work they do. Show your appreciation by meeting with them. Ask them questions. Listen to their grievances, and address their concerns. You will find out a lot about the state of your warehouse if you only listen to your workers. They have hands-on experience of working in the warehouse.
Loyalty works both ways. You need your workers to be loyal to you. They also need your loyalty. Show it to them by taking care of them, ensuring that the workplace is in order. Incentivize them when they do good work. Showing that you care about their well-being will go a long way.