What Causes Warehouse Workers to Be Unhappy? 

Warehouse work is a high-turnover job, and warehouses are constantly scrambling to bring in new staff. Over the past several years, warehouses have tried various strategies to increase worker retention, but warehouse labor shortages persist.

What causes warehouse workers to be unhappy? Several common reasons could be responsible. Fortunately, solutions are available.

Focus on Productivity Can Suppress Effective Communication

Warehouses are all about efficiency. Each item in a warehouse is placed in a particular spot to utilize space and increase speed when picking, packing, loading, and shipping products. This targeted focus on efficiency bleeds into the way managers deal with employees.

Warehouse supervisors notice and reward workers whose metrics are off the chart. But other workers, like the ones who take time to help newbies or offer a friendly smile, are just as important.

Although workers who help lift morale make a significant contribution to warehouse operations, they might not receive proper recognition. Additionally, management might pressure these employees to talk with coworkers less and work harder to accomplish more. However, other employees may notice this and think management only cares about meeting targets.

Difficult Shifts Can Strain Health and Morale

Warehouse workers often work long hours. As a result, overtime is frequent, especially in busier seasons. In addition, depending on the operation, an employee might have to work overnight shifts, which can be incredibly draining.

Workers value the increased pay overtime brings, and it might have been why they chose warehouse work in the first place. But it is hard to maintain a family or social life when you cannot count on having time off.

Irregular schedules, shifting days off, and many working days in a row are also tough on a worker. Often, working these shifts cause workers to suffer from physical illness, mental fatigue, and even depression, leading to significant turnover rates.

Boredom and Lack of Autonomy

Sometimes, warehouse job duties are repetitive. Workers often perform the same job duties, which can lead to boredom. Likewise, the focus on productivity is isolating and prevents workers from socializing with peers or coworkers.

Warehouse workers have little or no choice about how they do things. The technology they work with tells them how to do it. Over time, this can feel dehumanizing.

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Warehouse work is innovation-driven and will continue to implement new technology over time. Applying metrics is how warehouse managers know whether the warehouse and its staff are operating efficiently. So how can your operations change to improve morale and retention? Give your workers as much control as possible.

Allowing your workers more freedom might include using a product like HapiGig’s SwiftSwap, which allows employees to trade shifts with coworkers. For example, if a worker has a planned event or needs a mental health day, they can swap a shift instead of calling off. In addition, managers can post overtime shifts, so the opportunity goes to workers who want the cash instead of workers dying to get some rest. It seems like a small thing, but it offers workers the chance to exert some control over their working life, making for a happier workforce. Call or text us to learn more.