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How Warehouse Safety Can Improve Employee Retention

How Warehouse Safety Can Improve Employee Retention

Staff retention is a common problem in warehouses. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows turnover in the warehouse industry is 46.1% compared to an average turnover rate across all industries of between 12% to 15% annually.

High staff turnover is a problem for any business, resulting in skills shortages, low staff motivation and high costs. Retaining staff benefits everyone and helps to create a much more positive overall customer experience and work culture within the business.

In this post, we examine the strategies that can be applied to improve staff retention in the warehouse.


  1. Competitive Compensation and Benefits

HireVue’s Candidate Experience Report revealed more than half of UK workers (54%) would consider leaving a job if the pay was poor. Pay offers vary based on a number of factors including skill level, years of experience and geographical location. But it’s important to benchmark and ensure the rates of pay offered align with industry standards and worker expectations.

A recent Gallup study found that 64% of employees consider pay increases and benefits very important. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, the focus on fair compensation is even more prevalent. Benefits help to enhance the offer – attractive overtime rates and bonuses can really make a difference.

In an increasingly competitive environment for employers, its time to become creative and consider additional compensation options to retain great staff. This could include bonus systems, overtime, flexible working, health insurance, childcare support and pension schemes – these measures all help to motivate employees to stay in the job.


  1. Improving Work Conditions

Work conditions are one of the most important factors in retaining staff and worker safety must always be the top priority. Serious workplace accidents happen every day and cause a ripple effect across the business.

Unfortunately warehouses see more serious accidents than average with a Forbes survey highlighting that warehouse working was found to be the third most dangerous job after firefighters and police officers.  Close proximity working between vehicles and pedestrians is one of the key risks and 2023 HSE statistics for the sector show 37% of fatal accidents were due to being hit by a moving vehicle.

ZoneSafe helps to make warehouses safer by raising awareness and stopping accidents in their tracks. ZoneSafe pedestrian detection and active signage systems alert drivers and pedestrians to the presence of hazards so that action can be taken.  In any high-risk environment, it’s important to invest in and maintain high quality equipment and technology that addresses known risks. This preventative approach, combined with risk assessment, procedures and strict training programs, transforms working conditions.


  1. Training and Career Development

A robust training schedule improves working conditions and increases staff engagement. Employees feel more motivated and empowered when they have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, and this has a positive impact on productivity.

This starts with the onboarding experience, which has been shown to reduce attrition and increase engagement, so its an important measure. Training should be regular and ongoing, varied with theory, practical, on-the-job; helping to secure knowledge and address safety issues and concerns. Clear career paths provide development opportunities for engaged workers and motivate them to stay within the organisation. A study commissioned by experience platform Edenred revealed a fifth of adults polled had left their last job due to lack of progression.


  1. Employee Recognition and Rewards

It’s essential to recognise and reward outstanding employees. This is highly motivational and recognises those who go above and beyond. Deloitte Insights found that “high recognition companies” enjoy 31 percent lower turnover than lower recognition businesses.

Recognition helps to embed company values and culture and encourages commitment to the business. Rewards and recognition can be verbal, financial, or through schemes like Employee of the Month. Feedback is essential – both to motivate to improve and to highlight exceptional achievement. Even small rewards like a token. Gift, event or even just a verbal acknowledgement can go a long way to making employees feel valued without impacting budget.


  1. Fostering a Positive Workplace Culture

A positive workplace culture sees everyone working to the same vision and core values.

Businesses should share a clear mission, and a clear set of values to the workforce and management should lead by example to maximise buy in. Team building activities are a great way to build rapport, helping everyone to better understand strengths and what they bring to the team. Social events also help everyone to gel outside of work in a more relaxed atmosphere. Of course, good communication is key – keeping everyone informed of company information, financial performance and forward planning helps to drive staff engagement.


  1. Flexible Work Arrangements

Since the pandemic, flexible working has become more important than ever to the UK workforce, and every employee is legally entitled to request flexible working arrangements from the very beginning of their employment. Flexible working arrangements in the warehouse environment can take many forms and go a long way to creating a happier workforce that is more likely to stay in post. Flexible options to consider could include:

  • Compressed hours
  • Part time options
  • Remote work where possible
  • Flexible working hours


It’s important that flexible working arrangements do not impact the running of the business or put additional pressure on the remainder of the workforce. It requires balance between the needs of the business and the needs of the individuals but with careful consideration, flexible working can benefit both.

Constant recruitment and training is costly and time consuming, and leaves businesses with an inexperienced workforce.  By taking measures to engage staff and improve retention, warehouses are in a much stronger position to meet customer demand and deliver a great experience. Investment in people and the work environment really makes a difference.


Contact ZoneSafe to discuss your warehouse safety concerns

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