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The Five Ways 3PLs Can Retain Their Employees

Creating a positive work environment can help your 3PL improve its operational performance.

It may well be the biggest crisis facing the 3PL industry today. It could cut into productivity levels, sap profitability, and keep your warehouse from seizing the massive opportunities around you every day.

It’s the industry-wide shortage of qualified warehousing employees – and it is a problem that will not be improving any time soon.

Nonetheless, it is a challenge your warehouse must overcome. And while no 3PL has the ability to change the labor market by themselves, there are steps each can take to minimize the impact on their organization.

For most, the solution is fairly straightforward: Hang on to the employees you already have.

To do so, your 3PL must make this one of your top priorities and develop strategies to keep your employees happy and on-board. Here are five best practices that can help.

1. Create a Positive Working Environment

Smart 3PLs understand that employees do not always leave because they can get more money – but because they no longer like the circumstances of their jobs.

The best organizations monitor this constantly by requesting feedback from employees, providing positive reinforcement or even implementing more “family friendly” policies like paid leave or more time off.

2. Provide Proper Guidance and Training

Many outside the industry can see a warehouse position as a “dead-end job.” 3PLs should strive to show new workers that nothing could be further from the truth.

Take the time to show newer workers the incredible career possibilities of our rapidly expanding industry. Offering hands-on experience, skill sets and formal education needed to take advantage of a warehouse career is a valuable step.

3. Help Your Employees See The Bigger Picture

The more employees realize how important they truly are to your organization – and how massive their opportunities are in terms of future growth, job satisfaction and long-term employment – the more likely it is they will stay.

Employees who realize that the 3PL’s success is directly tied to their own personal success are far more likely to be more committed, harder working, and better ambassadors of your services to your customers.

4. Provide Room for Advancement, Growth, and a Positive Future

3PLs should strive to demonstrate that even lower level employees can rise up through the organization if they put in the hard work that’s required.

3PLs should work directly with each employee to understand their long-term goals – and then work with them to develop a personal growth plan that will benefit both the 3PL and the employee. Such win-win scenarios can produce happy, productive, and extremely loyal employees.

5. Provide Expanded Benefits, Higher Pay, Profit-Sharing and More

While long-term employment is not always about the money – generous financial compensation agreements will almost always have a positive effect.

When structuring such arrangements, 3PLs should always add in incentives that specifically reward long-term service and loyalty. These should escalate the longer the employee stays. Such arrangements make it very difficult for employees to consider leaving for anything less than a fantastic new opportunity.

The supply chain talent crisis may remain with us for many years to come. But if your organization is smart, proactive and properly focused, you can retain your experienced staff members – and keep this issue from derailing your long-term plans.


Article Topics
Best Practices   Transportation   Third Party Logistics   Labor Management   Supply Chain Talent   All topics


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