Around the warehouse floor, workers pull pallet jacks, drive aisle masters, and make time for general chit-chat between tasks. Warehouse culture is only as good as the people driving the machines. Realising this, managers and directors are paying more attention than ever to worker welfare.

Effectively managing a warehouse is no small task. The area is a hive of activity: trucks come and go, there’s the buzz of machines around the clock, and people are constantly on the move. With everything that’s going on, accidents happen. Having a safety culture in place is non-negotiable in workplaces like logistics and materials handling. Workers on the floor, those driving forklifts and pulling pallet jacks especially, need training. It’s a proven way to reduce accidents and keep your team engaged on the job.

Keeping workers engaged is another path to effective management. It’s natural to make friends on the job. You spend most your day at work before going home and starting again. In warehouses, logistics, and lots of other industries it’s common for teams, dubbed ‘silos’, to get competitive. This is counter-productive to the bottom line. A couple of times a year, it’s a welcome change to have team building days. The University of Queensland and the Queensland Government has a wealth of resources and ideas that can apply to all workplaces.

Workers naturally will do their jobs to the best of their ability. Studies show, though, that a clear career path and rewarding consistent efforts will keep good employees from leaving the company . It’s easy to reward employees for a job well done, whether they’re pulling the pallet trucks or driving the deliveries. The admin staff also do their fair share.

There’s no one way to effectively manage a warehouse. Each place is different, but a positive workplace culture should be a must. Investing in employee safety and team-building takes care of the ‘practical’ side. A clear-cut career path and a visible work and reward system will also help the employees meet targets and gives them an incentive to work towards a job well done.