Challenges in the Warehouse
So, how do the warehouse managers deal with a diverse workforce? They usually have to face a lot of challenges in the workplace regarding language barriers, diverse backgrounds and new workers. It’s important to be an understanding, collaborative manager as well as a good leader. Heavy turnover and the need to use temporary labor can also be a daunting task since there are always new faces coming into the workplace.
Understanding your workers
When not everyone speaks the same language in a warehouse, the best thing to do is to hire a bilingual supervisor who will be able to understand both languages and translate. It’s also important to have a few bilingual associates who can serve as translators for the other associates who are not English speakers. That way the associates won’t be afraid to communicate with the supervisor and they have someone in between to rely on.
Temporary workers and turnover
Hiring temporary employees can be good but it is also a bit burdensome since they have to be brought up to speed on what is going on in the warehouse. So it’s important to find a staffing agency that you can always go back to and possibly hire the same workers as time goes on. These workers can also be hired on permanently later on.
Employee turnover can be a heavy task as well in the warehouse. Supervisors are continuously training new employees, which can take time from other work that is really important.
Things change at a very rapid speed, so does the culture in the workplace, including the warehouse. Women have even taken on more warehouse jobs and employees may report to a female supervisor. No matter who the supervisor is, as a leading role they need to work side by side with the employees to gain their trust.
There can also be challenges when a younger supervisor tells a long-tenured employee to change a work process. It just takes time to tweak the process so it’s understandable if it doesn’t happen right away.
There is definitely a diverse workforce in a warehouse nowadays. The best thing to do is to stay on top of things to give yourself enough time to adjust to the challenges.