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Staff Wellbeing in Logistics and Warehousing

5 months ago by
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The cost of undervaluing staff wellbeing

Did you know that work-related injuries and diseases cost the Australian economy an estimated $61.8 billion per year? Between 2018/2019, the national policy body, Safe Work Australia, reported that a total of 114,435 claims were made, of those:

  • 30% were workplace fatalities 

  • 20% were serious claims in the transport, postal and warehousing sectors

These claims required the claimant to take an average of six weeks off work, and saw an average of $11,700 paid out per claim.

Clearly, the cost of staff wellbeing goes beyond simple OH&S measures. In the United States, data shows that lost work due to presenteeism, (people being at work but their minds elsewhere) is estimated at $1.5 trillion

Adopting a wellbeing culture can help you stay competitive, productive and profitable

Protecting your staff wellbeing and mental health delivers many benefits: 

Reduced staff absence/sickness: When staff are dissatisfied at work, they are more likely to call in sick. The average worker calls in sick for 9.7 days a year at a cost of $3,608 per worker, per annum. (HR Advance)

Reduced staff turnover: Companies with bad management (47.3%) and poor company culture (32.4%), were the main two reasons why employees dislike their current jobs and are more likely to leave. (CV library)

Attracts more staff talent: Those businesses that offered wellbeing packages that included items such as staff benefits and perks (48%), good work-life balance (43%) and had a positive company culture (35%) were more likely to attract quality candidates. (Glassdoor)

Facilitates business growth: 68% of staff say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated (HubSpot). 

Increase in productivity: Simply put, staff who are happier are more likely to be able to focus better on their work, make fewer mistakes and find it easier to learn as happiness is linked to the release of serotonin and dopamine. Data shows that companies with high employee engagement are shown to be 21% more profitable and 21% more productive (Gallup).

How psychological safety can build a stronger team

Making staff feel safe at work is vital for a strong culture of wellbeing, especially in a post-COVID work environment.

Consider some of these approaches from Harvard Business Review to help your team get started in making your business more psychologically safe:

  • When approaching an issue, take a collaborative rather than adversarial approach, by asking “How can we reach a mutually desirable outcome?”

  • Encourage leaders to remember we’re all human – other people have beliefs, hopes, and opinions that are valid (even if they disagree)

  • Prepare for likely reactions – consider the possible objections or counterarguments that will be raised for each subject

  • Don’t blame, be curious – by adopting a learning mindset, you are less likely to experience conflict and be able to offer full support

  • Ask for feedback – this increases trust by establishing what part of the conversation worked, how the message was received and if it could have been done so more effectively

  • Measure psychological safety – periodically survey your team on how they feel and what would enhance their feelings of safety.

Building a psychologically safe culture helps staff tackle difficult problems and encourages learning and development opportunities, which in turn contributes to an overall increase in performance.

Cognitive high performance can put you ahead of the competition

Sydney wellbeing at work trainers The Wellbeing Outfit highlight the importance of cognitive high performance for bringing out the best in employees. They focus on going beyond, simply taking care of staff and creating an environment where everyone performs at their best. By creating a culture of success, goal achievement and contribution, workplaces can get a competitive edge. 

Elements of this strategy include: 

  • Strategic attention: focusing energy on the most important tasks and decisions

  • Integrated reasoning: gathering information from multiple sources, to solve complex, interrelated problems

  • Brain training: using tactics to strengthen the brain’s functional reasoning to improve abilities in attention, planning, judgement and emotional management.

Proven methods for retaining and rewarding staff

In addition to ensuring supply chain staff wellbeing, there is a lot of pressure on businesses to ensure that they are retaining and giving recognition to the people who provide the best overall quality of work.

Below are some methods of recognition for hard working members of the team:

  • Rewards programs: Many businesses have found cost effective ways to rewarding staff by using incentives such as an extra day’s holiday, gift cards and cinema tickets, all are great and inexpensive ways to show appreciation for hard work.

  • Flexibility: Offering flexible working hours to staff can be an effective way to reduce stress and fatigue and can leave them feeling refreshed and well-rested between shifts. It also shows that you recognise an employee’s need to balance their work and home life.

  • Gamification: There are now products on the market such as Freshdesk, which brings gaming into the working world with staff engagement programs using points, levelling up and rewards, which resonates with younger members of the workforce.

  • Medical and other benefits: Employers might offer a contribution towards an employee’s private health insurance. Incentive programs and benefit programs also recognise and reward staff contribution and commitment.

  • Salary: The most traditional way of maintaining staff loyalty. By offering more than the average salary bracket, you can ensure that you can always attract the best candidates to the job and ensure company loyalty.

The value of leadership

The most important element of ensuring supply chain staff wellbeing is strong leadership.

Those in senior positions must articulate a strong, clear vision to all employees while fostering healthy relationships and encouraging everyone to communicate openly.

A winning work culture can only be created and maintained by fostering open communication, sharing core values that are truly lived and fair treatment of all employees.

Investing in leadership training to equip your front-line leaders with the skills to motivate staff is vital. It’s also useful to equip leaders to identify the future potential leaders within the organisation, so there’s always a strong pipeline of strong candidates to fill vacancies as staff depart the organisation. 

The wealth that diversity brings to supply chain staff wellbeing

There is strong evidence that businesses with greater staff diversity enjoy numerous advantages. (We cover this in greater detail in our blog about the benefits of workplace diversity.) 

A Sage report found that:

  • Culturally diverse teams are more likely to outperform less diverse competitors by 35%

  • GDP in the USA would increase by $25 billion if just 1% more people living with disabilities were hired

  • Diversity of thinking enhances innovation by 20%

  • Almost half (47%) of millennials consider diversity and inclusion to be an important factor in their job search.

Similarly, a report published by McKinsey found that:

  • Companies in the top quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability

  • Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation.

In conclusion, through diversity and inclusion in the workplace, staff can gain a sense of belonging and feel more connected. It also has the added benefit of providing new perspectives and innovations that enhance your business.

Naturally, at MTC Recruitment, this is a subject we are passionate about, as we help many clients enjoy the benefits of an increasingly diverse workforce. 

Speak to our team today about how we can help you create more diversity in your teams. With extensive experience in staffing for the supply chain and logistics industries, our friendly team is ready to help you, so contact us on (02) 9914 3270 to get started.