Attracting and retaining a productive, engaged workforce are two of the greatest challenges distribution center (DC) operators face. As previous generations continue to exit the labor pool, they leave a vacuum that's being filled by millennials who bring a unique set of values to the workplace. Employers must appeal to their desires for autonomy and meaningful employment, making sure they feel empowered and know the worth of their contribution to the company's greater success.
By creating a culture of fairness and transparency, Labor Management Software (LMS) helps DCs create an environment in which employees thrive and stay engaged. LMS helps managers identify employee strengths and weaknesses to set achievable work assignments, find the right resources for specific tasks, and tie worker performances back to results. Here's how:
1. Create an engagement model. Engaged employees need well-defined and transparent goals, ongoing coaching and mentoring, and an employer that's dedicated to their continuous improvement. Not only does LMS help improve operating processes and establish key performance indicators, it enables the sharing of individual performance data to create a healthy spirit of competition. It also identifies when specific employees may need focused coaching and mentoring to elevate their productivity.
2. Establish trust in leadership. It's not always easy for DC leadership teams to instill the company's vision, mission and purpose. LMS helps leaders demonstrate these values through open lines of communication and the ability to make decisions based on facts. The net result is a more visible leadership team with more effective relationships and interactions with staff.
3. Provide opportunities for growth. It's a known fact that employees who feel like they have opportunities for growth and clear pathways for advancement are more engaged. With its transparent, accurate assessment of worker performance, LMS encourages employee success and nurtures individual growth. DC managers can clearly reward employees based on merit alone, either by providing fair opportunities for advancement or instituting pay-for-performance incentive programs.
4. Foster a supportive work environment. We know that favoritism, nepotism or any form of preferential treatment are detrimental to workplace culture and employee satisfaction. LMS is a workplace morale multiplier. Since effort and performance are the baseline for rewards and recognition, LMS helps foster a diverse and inclusive workforce and a culture of teamwork. This paves the way for other important incentives that build a positive work environment, such as flexible scheduling options or on-site perks for achieving specific team goals. And for those who are not meeting performance standards, LMS helps managers step in and provide focused training.
A common misconception about LMS is that it will create an environment where employees may feel that they can never quite measure to performance expectations. On the contrary, the opposite is true; employees actually appreciate the transparency and fairness that LMS enables.