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Workforce shortages are a very real and present issue for the logistics sector. With recruitment and retention among the biggest talking points at supply chain and logistics trade show Multimodal.
Many companies we talked to say their focus has recently shifted from recruiting new staff to ensuring they retain their current workforce so they can remain competitive. Particularly as giants like Amazon offer bonuses in the run up to Christmas.
But its not just a driver shortage is it? There are wider labour shortages across the sector in warehousing, transport, planning, engineering and tech.
As PR and marketing consultants to the logistics, transport and warehousing sectors, we help to promote these companies and grow their businesses.
But how can logistics, transport and warehousing businesses grow if they don’t have enough people to meet demand already, or their workers are being tempted to move elsewhere?
How do you attract and retain logistics employees?
People tend to move companies for better pay, perks or hours. Or it could be that they feel overworked, unhappy with management or they simply want better career prospects.
So what else can companies do to keep employees?
We’ve got our PR, marketing and internal communications experts together to share some of the ways you can explore to attract and retain logistics employees. 30 ways in fact!
1. Market your unique employee offer – shout about what makes you the employer of choice – from your pay and benefits to flexible working and your company culture.
2. Provide more education and training opportunities.
3. Introduce Apprenticeship schemes.
4. Offer better defined career paths.
5. Pay competitive wages.
6. Promote logistics as a more cutting-edge, modern and innovative sector – change and challenge misconceptions.
7. Change perceptions of what it’s like to be a driver, production operative, warehouse manager. And promote how essential these roles really are.
8. Build respect for these critical roles through thought leadership about the challenges you’ve overcome, new innovations and best practices.
9. Champion the people already in the industry and demonstrate how they’re making a difference.
10. Improve roadside services for drivers. True you might not have much control over this, but can you explore ways to influence those that do?
11. Improve working conditions, eg, air con, heating, refrigeration, clothes dryers, and more.
12. Think about the potential for creating hybrid roles – such as mixing driving and warehousing roles to help with variety, retention and career progression.
13. Set realistic job expectations from the start.
14. Ensure there are fair home time policies in place for people working on the road.
15. Build a culture of putting safety first. Making it your top priority to invest in coaching and positive behaviours.
16. Support and promote your own driver health and wellbeing schemes.
17. Use or create new technologies that help make the job easier and more enjoyable. Rather than anything that adds more time pressures on drivers and warehousing teams.
18. Remember that what a manager and corporate leader want will be different to a driver or warehouse operative. And ensure your audience is at the front of your mind when making decisions about employment policies and procedures.
19. Provide your drivers with technologies that help increase their efficiency and productivity on the road, such as fuel optimisation software.
20. Make sure that employees, whether on the road, rail, or in ports or warehouses have access to good communication channels with their managers and peers.
21. Celebrate performance – people who feel appreciated and rewarded are more likely to stick around. Incentivise the number of safe miles driven, for example, or individuals and teams that minimise downtime. Reward people who receive positive customer reviews and feedback, and more.
22. Set up a problem-solving network so that employees can help each other and share their experiences of what works well, and what could be better.
23. Get to know right at the start of the hiring process what motivates your employees – and it will be different for everyone – from pay and conditions to home-life balance.
24. Listen – at the recruitment stage, during employment and in exit interviews. Why? So that you can understand why people join, stay and quit – and act on that feedback.
25. Remember that employee loyalty reduces turnover. Communicate regularly and foster that all important employee loyalty.
26. Ask for and act on employee feedback, especially around problem-solving. Make your employees feel that they contribute.
27. Create peer groups – match new starters with experienced mentors to share experiences and ideas.
28. Embrace new technologies. There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with outdated, slow technology, systems or processes. Or even outdated thinking. Make sure your teams have the tools they need to work more efficiently and effectively.
29. Mutual respect and trust are critical for good working relationships so ensure there’s a good work atmosphere. Caring for employees and respecting their opinions and contributions really does pay off.
30. Organise school visits to educate young people about logistics, warehousing and supply chain careers – and do some myth busting.
Do you need some help with your employee retention and recruitment communications? Get in touch with our Content Team today at PR@allottandassociates.co.uk or call +44 (0)1423 867264 or London on + 44 (0)207 257 2017.