Labor Management, CareersGlobally, 85% of employees report that they’re either not engaged or are actively disengaged within their jobs, according to a 2019 Gallup study. This is a big factor in employee turnover, because disengaged team members often feel underequipped, underdeveloped, and underappreciated. Logistics leaders who recognize and further engage their employees will reap long-term and short-term benefits, including 41% lower absenteeism, 24% less turnover, and most notably, 70% fewer safety incidents.Teams in manufacturing, retail, and distribution can take the following three steps to ensure that their employees are continuously engaged, allowing them to thrive in their roles:Step 1: Prioritize SafetyEstablishing world-class safety practices should be the first priority in engaging your workforce. Any employee that’s off the floor because of an injury is inherently having a negative, painful experience. Moreover, costs due to workers’ compensation, administration, and replacement can quickly spiral out of control for organizations that rely on operational efficiency. By preventing workplace injuries, leaders can boost employee morale and keep efficiency high. What your employees will say (Gallup 2019):“My supervisor seems to care about my wellbeing.”“I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.”“At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”How to make it happen:Focus on human movement to reduce the frequency and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Injuries related to MSDs cost U.S. businesses $31 billion in 2019. Unfortunately, solutions like ergonomics aren’t enough for preventing these injuries. Tasks like lifting, reaching, picking, pulling, and pushing are all simple movements which, done in poor body positions, leave team members at risk of injury on the job. Performing these tasks with a focus on maintaining a strong body position will substantially reduce these injuries.Step 2: Train and Develop EmployeesIn today’s hypercompetitive job market, not only are employers looking for new ways to retain their employees, but also how to get the best performance from them. Employees today, on the other hand, are looking for ways to level up their skills so they can progress their careers. An easy way for leaders to marry these desires is by providing training opportunities in which team members can learn and develop new skills. Doing so will give employees new ways to succeed on the job, and help them feel like they’re a priority to the organization.What your employees will say:“There’s someone at work who encourages my development.”“In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.”“This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.”How to make it happen:Start by putting a lightweight employee training program in place. By utilizing mobile and microlearning methodology, you can promote employee participation and engagement—without disturbing operational efficiency. From there, put yourself in your team members’ shoes. What kind of training will be most beneficial to their growth within the business? Choose training topics that will resonate with team members, and you’ll see development skyrocket.Step 3: Craft a Strong CultureA strong safety culture is the gift that keeps on giving. As team members feel a stronger sense of connection to their workplace culture, they’ll be more open to participating in company programs, better at receiving feedback, and happier overall. A strong culture also helps to hold team members accountable. For example, employees who are part of a strong safety culture will not only prioritize personal safety, but will also work to keep their peers safe as well.Tim Smith from Hub Group Trucking sees his drivers take the culture home with them: “Some of our drivers have even incorporated learnings from Worklete’s safety program into their everyday lives.”What your employees will say:“My fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.”“In the last seven days, I’ve received recognition or praise for doing good work.”“At work, my opinions seem to count.”How to make it happen:Creating shared vocabulary and messaging is essential for building a strong culture. There are job-specific words and phrases that you and your employees use within your teams every day. Identify which phrases are sticking with your teams, and create signage to display in common areas around the facility. These visual affirmations will solidify the vocabulary in your employee’s minds, and help to unite the team around a common lexicon. Follow these three steps, and you’ll be well on your way to creating an engaged workforce.Are you establishing a world-class safety culture on your team? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Injury Prevention.
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