Attracting and Retaining Warehouse Talent in 2024

Another set of strategies designed to get great people to join and stick around? They’re born out of a company’s culture.

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In the fulfillment industry, competitive compensation is the largest lever management has to pull when it comes to attracting and retaining warehouse talent; it is not the only one, though.

Continuing education opportunities, top-notch benefits and opportunities for career growth are also on most company’s short lists. However, there’s another layer, another set of strategies designed to get great people to join and stick around – they’re born out of a company’s culture.

Operate Under One Set of Rules

If an organization has different sets of rules for its warehouse operations team than it does for its office workers, it creates fertile ground for resentment.

Why should lower-wage workers feel like they are getting a raw deal on EVERYTHING?

Whether we are talking about work-from-home, parental leave, personal time off, or free lunch policies, management should make it clear that everyone across the entire organization – not just warehouse workers – are, without a doubt, operating under a single set of rules.

This creates a net positive effect that strengthens bonds, fuels mutual respect, and ensures that everyone knows that fairness is the priority. Unsurprisingly, people want to work at a place like that.

Prioritize Triple Threat Talent

Fulfillment organizations might think of themselves as having three types of employees: the people who think about how to profitably grow the business (the brains), the people who are focused on everyone doing right by customers and teammates (the heart), and the people who do the work (the muscle).

The natural assumption is you need muscle people for the warehouse staff, but in reality, we must develop teams in those roles that have the brains and the heart and the muscle.

If they’re thinking about ways to help the company grow, that’s a win. If their values align with the company’s and are invested in customer success, that’s a win. And if they’re putting in the effort working in a warehouse requires, that’s a win, too.

These three things combined often have a positive impact on retention. Multidimensional people want to work with other multidimensional people.

Offer the Best Health Insurance Possible

Competitive pay is only one piece of the compensation puzzle that drives retention. Benefits, specifically healthcare, do, too. If employees know that they and their families are taken care of and that their employer is shouldering as much of their healthcare cost burden as they reasonably can, not only will that employee likely perform better, but they’ll also be less likely to leave. Again, similar coverage for warehouse and office teams is important.

Get Serious About Onboarding

Most companies think they have a fine onboarding program for their labor staff. Spend some time with HR, set up direct deposit, pass out the company handbook, off you go. No way. Think about language. Think about videos. It’s critical to immerse new employees in the company culture so they feel a part of the team from day one.

Commit to Representation in Management

The fulfillment industry is a diverse workplace, made up of workers with various backgrounds. Think about the impact of new warehouse hires seeing people in top positions in the organization who look just like they do – Wow, that could me someday if I stick around here! It, of course, helps to be known for promoting from within.

Bottom Line

Being an attractive place to work and achieving high retention rates among warehouse or labor workers is hard – especially when competition for talent is high. With competitive compensation, a strong culture, and a little creative thinking, it is absolutely possible to build a team that sticks around, creating an ever-stronger foundation