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Posted by Thelma Marshall Product Director on Dec 3, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Are your warehouse employees suffering from burnout on the job? Did you know this can increase the risk of accidents and injuries? hands-2586507_640

Long hours, continuous risk and the increasing demand to fill orders faster makes warehouse work one of the most stressful careers in the supply chain industry. Unfortunately, those burned-out employees have an increased record of mistakes and poor judgement, which leads to more accidents and injuries.

Employee burnout has been officially determined to be a diagnosable condition by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is caused by unremitting workplace stress. Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Here are three signs to look for that characterize the condition.

  1.  Employees appear to have depletion of energy or seem exhausted.
  2.  Workers my demonstrate an increased mental distance from their job, or express feelings of negativism or cynicism related to the job.
  3.  Employees may produce less and lack the professional efficacy they are capable of.

 Increased demands in the warehouse industry are expected to continue, so your enterprise should takes steps to identify solutions to mitigate stress and support workers who are becoming overwhelmed by high demands. With a few adjustments you could help them avoid reaching the point of burnout.

Here’s a look at a few reasons for burnout and simple solutions to mitigate the affects.

Skills don’t meet demands or expectations

Operating a forklift requires specific skills, the right certifications and a constant focus on safety. Job-specific training needs to be provided. If some of this falls through the cracks your operators may stress about making mistakes and the risk of potential injuries.

Simple solution: Track and document all operator training through your telematic platform so you receive a list of operators whose certification is not up to date, about to expire or is need of more training.

Use telematic operator report cards to recognize excellence on the job and to help facilitate employee engagement. Make employees feel they are part of a team that works together to obtain objectives.

 Inventory is often hard to locate

More inventory moving through your facility can be harder to track. One of the biggest reasons for stress and frustration it the time wasted searching for misplaced inventory.

Simple solution: Advanced location capabilities with telematics show you exactly where all the forklifts are in the warehouse and where each piece of inventory is located. This solution cuts through the confusion and wasted time and eliminates this common operator frustration.

It also saves money. One recent report found that many companies realize a profitability increase of 20 to 50 percent or more after implementing an advanced inventory-tracking system.

 The need for speed

Warehouse shifts may exceed eight hours. Employees often work overnight shifts, so fatigue and doing a repetitive task create the perfect environment for distracted driving and it is common to neglect safety checklists when workers are on a tight schedule.

Across the entire warehouse operation, daily processed must work in synergy. But, problems and safety infractions rise in direct correlation to increased demand. This can make operators ignore speed limits and drive a little faster, cut corners too sharply, and forget to pay attention to what’s going on around them. 

Simple solution: Monitor all the moving parts in a warehouse to identify where efficiency can be improved, e.g. rerouting forklifts for safety or improved traffic flow. Identify risky driver behavior and completed safety checklists so speed infractions, poor decisions and mechanical issues can be immediately addressed.

About 52 percent of companies deploy telematics to manage labor, inventory and business growth. Leveraging real-time data and knowledge gained from a telematics platform, like TotalTrax’s SX/VX200 monitors safety and can help everyone work smarter to reduce incidents of employee burnout.

Topics: injuriesinventory trackingoperator trainingsafety improvementssafety versus productivityoperator behaviorlimit risksforklift operators

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