While you lounge in your money-filled ivory tower (and you almost certainly do that, you monster!), your employees are slaving away, soot on their faces like they were down a coalmine and more misery in their souls than a Morrissey album.
Fair enough, that might be an overstatement, but a lot of bosses will go out of their way to ignore their workers’ needs, cackling like Dickensian villains as they chow down on a Cuban cigar and have a peasant boy shine their shoes.
It’s why employees take strike action, grumble their way through their day and complain to their boss. You can see it right now in the national dispute between Jeremy Hunt and junior doctors. But in warehouses, a sector where employees aren’t quite as well publicised by the media, the problems can be even more exploitative.
Chances are you don’t want to be one of those bosses. You want to be proper and fair and holding onto your employees for as long as possible. With the right technique profit and fairness can go hand in hand.
So we’ve come up with a few ways to make your warehouse somewhere employees will actually WANT to work.
The right kind of upgrade
Is your roof leaking, your forklift trucks sputtering and your staff room rattier than a literal pack of rats? Then it’s time to get all Grand Designs on your warehouse’s décor – before your staff up sticks and leave. This also includes fire protection online as there’s always danger of a fire in the workplace which would be disastrous. You need to think of everything before starting, because later it will be too costly.
If you don’t already have one, invest in mezzanine floor construction, giving your warehouse an entire extra level to use. Mezzanine floors will cost you a handsome sum, but come at a low cost from the right provider.
With your mezzanine in place, invest in more effective equipment for an efficient workplace. Speedier forklifts, a staff room with a fresh lick of paint and equipment that passes all health and safety checks.
Your upgrades won’t just make for a more pleasant working experience. They’ll show your staff that you’re investing in them, increasing their overall morale.
Listen and learn
You don’t work on the ground with the troops, so to speak. You’ve got other places to be, other jobs to do – so turn to your workers for advice on how to improve their working situation.
Set up a suggestion box and actively encourage your workers to contribute to it. If you’ve got spare time, establish an open door policy in your workplace where staff can come to you personally with problems. Or else delegate the task to someone else and have them send you a document of all suggestions.
The most important aspect of leadership is caring and listening. Show your staff you can do both and you’ll have a workforce who’ll stick by you through thick and thin.