Often times, when voice for the warehouse is being promoted, you hear about the same benefits: increased accuracy, improved productivity, and decreased training time. While these are all huge selling points for voice, there is one benefit that often goes unmentioned- a decrease in turnover.
The State of Turnover in the Warehouse
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, warehousing jobs are among one of the top industries to have employees quit rather than be fired or laid off, with a 13.7% industry turnover rate. When you factor in the cost of advertising for the open position and retraining a new hire, it can quickly become a large warehouse expense to lose members of the workforce. It is estimated that direct costs to replace an employee can reach as high as 60% of an employee’s annual salary.
Labor Management and Voice
The statistics above are pretty grim, but luckily those statistics don’t need to be true for your warehouse. By voice-enabling your workers, you will be able to increase visibility into the performance of each individual employee while creating a better, and more desirable, working environment.
Reduce injuries and increase ease of use
Voice-directed work allows your workers to move around the warehouse with their hands free and eyes up, allowing them to stay alert and move safely through the warehouse. While the initial benefit seen from this is typically productivity, it also increases the likelihood that your workers will have the proper form when lifting heavy or cumbersome items. No longer will they struggle to hold a scanner or clipboard in their hand while attempting to lift, reducing the likelihood of injury to the hand, arm, and back.
The ease of use also tends to get strong positive feedback from employees, as they appreciate being able to do their jobs safer and more efficiently.
Identify your best performers
The Vocollect Voice software provides real-time updates into your warehouse management system (WMS), and enables you to track your employees individually to monitor performance. This allows you to easily identify who your top performing workers are and reward them- whether it be with praise or a monetary prize. Often times, recognition of a job well done will be a motivating factor for workers to stay with a company, and even work harder.
Set, monitor and communicate performance goals
Since you will be able to track employees on an individual basis with voice, you can now provide tailored goals to your workers that are motivating and attainable. Having something to work toward will often give employees a sense of accomplishment, and help them feel satisfied in their job.
Establish a pay-for-performance program
Increased productivity and accuracy will reduce the cost of labor and errors, decreasing operational costs for the warehouse. Many companies will take advantage of this by utilizing those savings to begin a compensation program, basing additional earnings on productivity and accuracy. With the ability to earn additional money on top of their base pay, many workers find incentive programs like these to be a reason to stay with a company.
Harbor Wholesale, a grocery and convenience store distributor, took advantage of their savings to create a performance incentive in their warehouse and saw incredible results.
“We have a cigarette picking area where we put all of our top performers,” said Noah Skelton, PM Warehouse Manager and Technical Operations Specialist for Harbor Wholesale. “The minimum amount of picker per hour to stay in the cigarette area is 1,100 picks per hour, but our fastest workers reach nearly 1,900 picks. With the savings voice afforded us we’ve been able to heavily incentivize productivity in that area, so everyone is trying to be there- it’s increased our overall warehouse productivity by 50%. We figured that since we are saving so much with voice, we wanted to pass some of the savings on. Now, that area has the lowest turnover rate in our entire warehouse.”
High turnover rates have become a significant problem in the warehousing industry, but you can break the trend. By utilizing the power of voice you have the potential to gain happy workers while bringing greater efficiency into your warehouse. If you have any questions about using voice in your warehouse, please contact us here.