Warehouse Labor Shortages in 2022

Traditionally, warehouses have experienced trouble filling available positions. Although the barrier to entry is low and the pay is competitive, many workers do not consider warehouse jobs desirable.

Warehouses have a reputation for being unsafe, and COVID exacerbated that perception. In addition, the long hours and unpredictability of scheduling are a turn-off for many workers, especially those with family commitments.

Unfortunately, the trend continued of warehouse labor shortages in 2022. There is little reason to believe 2023 will be much different. If you want to ensure you always have adequate staff at your warehouse, you must take some steps to make your operation appealing to people who have lots of employment choices.

Unpacking the Warehouse Labor Shortage

According to Forbes Magazine, labor shortages in the warehouse industry are worse than ever. With unemployment low and many workers demanding remote work, finding people willing to work on-site in a warehouse has become a near-impossible challenge, especially when competing against retailers like Amazon and Walmart. These huge operations can offer sign-on bonuses and other incentives that are not feasible for smaller operations.

The Forbes article notes that many people do not want to work in a warehouse regardless of incentives. Some warehouse employees must walk over ten miles a day to complete their tasks. Others must stand for hours. Difficult working conditions combined with long hours lead to illness, injury, and retention challenges.

Improving the Warehouse Worker’s Experience

Warehousing operations that want to thrive in this demanding economy must find a way to make jobs at their facilities more appealing. Improving salary and benefits is a start. Introducing other benefits, such as free meals or gift cards for meeting targets, could also have a positive impact on workers.

One thing all workers value is autonomy and control, especially when it comes to their schedules. If a company asks its workers to put in long, demanding hours, it must provide them with scheduling options if it expects the workers to stay.

Warehouses have successfully improved attendance and increased retention by offering employees more control over their schedules. In addition, allowing workers to trade shifts can reduce callouts for illness and increase worker engagement.

How ShiftSwap Could Help Alleviate the Labor Shortage in 2023

Every indication is that the labor shortage will persist into 2023 in warehouses. Companies that hope to add workers and keep the ones they have will need to be as responsive to the worker’s needs as possible.

Warehouses that allow employees to control their schedules could have a competitive advantage in recruitment and retention. One way to give more control to workers is to enable them to trade shifts.

ShiftSwap is a web-based platform designed by HapiGig that allows workers to post shifts they are scheduled to work but would rather give up. Other employees who want extra work could agree to take the shifts with the permission of warehouse management. The process gives employees autonomy regarding how much they work and when.

ShiftSwap Can Make Workers and Management Happy

Allowing workers to manage their shifts in this way increases their job satisfaction, which could increase their retention. ShiftSwap might also entice potential employees who aren’t sure if they want to try warehouse work.

ShiftSwap also makes life easier for managers. They no longer must manage employees’ requests for time off. Workers who can trade their unwanted shifts are less likely to take sick days, increasing attendance.

ShiftSwap also can help managers distribute overtime. For example, managers could offer overtime shifts on the platform, and employees who want the extra work could sign up, decreasing the need for mandatory overtime and avoiding accusations of favoritism when assigning overtime shifts.

ShiftSwap Can Help You Deal with the Warehouse Labor Shortage

If you’ve tried other ways to increase and retain your workforce and still struggle, give ShiftSwap a try. Allowing workers more control over their schedules might be just the change that will keep them working for you. Call today to discuss how to implement the ShiftSwap platform in your workplace.