Driver shortage is one of the biggest challenges transportation industry is facing these days, but it’s far from the only one; there’s also the problem of employee retention and satisfaction. About 70% of logistics employees are non-office based, so it’s an enormous challenge to reach such a large workforce on the road and at the same time consider the needs of warehouse and desk workers as well.
Here are some strategies that HR managers in logistics and transportation could consider to improve employee satisfaction and help create a healthy and loyal organisation.
Good communication is the key factor in ensuring an effective operation system and a well-functioning safety culture. All employees, whether they are delivery drivers or logistics managers in warehouses, need to feel that they are included in the work process, valued, heard and well-informed about their specific responsibilities. This is achieved by a simple and clear flow of the communication process.
One of the ways to do this is to make the system easily accessible to all employees. Nowadays, with technological advancements, this is easily done by enabling mobile self-service. These apps are conveniently nested on the employees’ smartphones and allow them immediate access to schedules, working hours tracking and arrangements of shifts and time off. These apps also give workers more independence in managing their own work-life balance, which in return, makes them more satisfied and involved. As for the company itself, they have a more precise insight into pay accuracy and working processes across the entire organisation. Just by having the process be transparent, communication improves greatly.
Another important strategy is to encourage line managers to have open discussions with employees about leave time and absence. This is never the most comfortable situation for parties involved, but one-on-one conversations are both useful and effective in reducing the absence rate. Moreover, this kind of approach enables managers to intervene more and offer support to employees about any issues that might arise, health or work related. On the other hand, employees will feel more appreciated and valued. Overall, this helps ensure a smoother return to work after an absence, better planning of the long-term leaves and easier mitigation of absence costs.
Like any other industry and field of business, transportation industry also has clearly defined daily and weekly rules for drivers to comply with. This is essential for protecting the safety and health of all employees as well as the public. Taking care of your employees is imperative to achieving smooth operation and a high level of employee satisfaction. Employees that are valued and cared for will also take care of the customers.
Let’s start with the home base – the warehouse. Warehouse efficiency is one of the key factors in a successful supply chain process. The right racking solutions in warehouses show the company’s ability to remain competitive in the global market. If it’s properly planned and organised, it will ensure a more effective service. Using contemporary adaptable pallet racking is an excellent solution that can enable a smooth functioning operation (quick and easy access to goods, assembly and disassembly as well), but it will also allow warehouse employees to do their jobs safely and effectively. Another concern to address is fatigue management. It’s highly important to make sure workers get enough breaks and that shifts are scheduled accordingly.
Finally, one thing that successfully boosts employee satisfaction and helps improve workforce retention is regular training and professional development. Most often, senior leaders are paired with newcomers to the company who also have learning courses included into their schedules. Automated schedules are also used to rotate employees throughout different shifts and positions so they can get insight into the workings of the entire system. The result is that new employees adapt more quickly and easily and all of these learning opportunities and skills development help create loyalty to the brand and boost employee satisfaction.
Having to manage a large and distributed workforce comes with many challenges. Since it also carries high responsibility both to employees and public safety, it’s very important to adapt structures and strategies that support overall employee well-being. With measures such as enabling efficient communication, addressing fatigue problems, compliance with safety regulations and organising continual training and development opportunities, it’s quite possible to build a committed and satisfied workforce.