Every warehouse manager understands how important communication is to the daily activities of the institution. Proper flow of information is essential to ensure employees know what they need to do and where they need to be. In-person communication is hard to implement due to the current noise reduction ratings (NRR) of PPE headphones that warehouse employees wear.
For large warehouses, the transfer of information may prove difficult during work, and this problem has plagued warehouses for years. Warehouses have created innovative solutions to meet the most common complications, but many are still far behind when effectively communicating with employees.
Management is at the forefront of instituting communication channel reforms to streamline the process. Therefore, they are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the communication trends made available in the warehousing space. Here are some communication trends that warehouses have adopted to their advantage.
The Role of Modern Intranet Software in Warehousing
The internet has benefitted many businesses, offering a platform to host and disseminate information rapidly. With the increase in internet-accessible devices, most warehouses have turned to this powerful tool to enhance communication among the three fundamental pillars of a warehouse structure.
Communication in warehouses often involves a pyramid system. Communication channels exist between leaders and employees, employees and leaders, and employees themselves. Intranet software can integrate all of these communication channels in a convenient hub that works for both leaders and employees.
Many warehouses have adapted intranet software and employee hubs to transfer information. With additional socializing features, it is easier to pass on personalized communication tailor-made for the recipients. Giving employees access to a single communication location facilitates rapid communication and enhances productivity.
Warehouse communication structures are significant in facilitating productivity. In some instances, employees are scattered all over the warehouse. Modern warehouses are quickly adopting collaborative working systems.
In the collaborative work system, chat rooms and similar communication systems ensure the employees constantly communicate with each other to complete their tasks effectively. By promoting collaboration between employees, management doesn’t have to spend all of their time delivering orders to their workers.
Single Communication Channels
Most warehouse structures have different leadership positions along the chain of command. On some occasions, there are several communication channels where tasks and obligation assignments come from other start points. In addition, relevant information sharing is between different leaders but doesn’t involve employees.
If employees receive conflicting information, it may sometimes cause confusion and stall productivity. Most communication-focused warehouses share specific information through a single individual. This increases the credibility of the information, and employees may begin executing a task immediately after receiving commands.
Personal Devices with Employees
Traditionally, most warehouses limit the use of personal devices in the workspace due to distractions. Still, some warehouses have proven that this is far from accurate. Despite mobile devices offering a distraction point, they have the advantage of versatility.
Mobile devices not only have access to modern intranet software that allows employees to connect to a virtual space, but they also can use coworking software that allows for group work, co-editing, and execution of other work-related tasks.
In addition to the collaborative features on mobile devices, they are accessible to all employees, guaranteeing that all receive shared information. Incorporating mobile devices with other materials and programs to facilitate communication between employees and managers might positively impact the warehouse’s overall productivity.
In any warehouse, a communication breakdown has catastrophic results. When an employee requires clarification or directive on how to execute a task, a delay may slow down their productivity, negatively impacting the warehouse’s activities. Warehouses have instituted a genius solution to prevent communication from grinding to a halt.
Chat services have been in business corporations for a long time, but their contribution to warehousing has recently been revolutionary. Chat services offer a collaborative platform that facilitates communication between stakeholders and parties.
Short messages take away the formality of email threads. Consequently, the employees have the opportunity to communicate and receive directions and clarifications while on the go, enhancing their productivity and morale.
Another upcoming trend in warehouse communication is the use of wearables. Communication is vital in creating an enabling working environment. It is essential that employees remain in contact with each other. This helps prevent accidents and gives employees information about company policies and changes that may concern them in the long run.
Smart glasses are an example of a wearable that is excelling in warehouses. Smart glasses are perfect for employees that are involved in hands-on activities. Information relayed on the lens of these smart glasses may be received and interpreted without the employee needing to deviate from their duties.
Earpieces on smart glasses also allow the employees to receive audio instructions, which has proven more effective than solely written communication.
Video Communication and Infographics
Information that appeals to more than one of the senses is better than traditional written communication, which has sparked the adoption of visual aids in the communication process. It is becoming more common for managers to record information and pass it on to employees by sending them links to the video’s host or the video itself.
Furthermore, using eye-catching infographics when passing on information is quickly catching on. Employees respond better to such information because it is more engaging and appealing.
Personalized messages are quickly replacing traditional emails with generalized information. Warehousing companies are allocating resources to collect data from their employees that may generate customized information to create a feeling of belonging among employees, maximizing work output.
Passing on best wishes to an employee on their birthday or congratulating them on accomplishing a significant milestone in and out of the warehouse boosts morale. Managers should adopt this system to strategically maximize employee productivity while fostering a warm and nurturing environment.
Updating communication policies in your warehouse can boost employee morale, increase productivity, and promote collaboration between employees. There are plenty of ways you can mix your usual methods of communication with new technology and communication trends, and each of them can help change your warehouse for the better.
About the Author
Rick Farrell is North America’s foremost expert in improving manufacturing group communication, education, training and group hospitality processes. He has over 40 years of group hospitality experience, most recently serving as President of Plant-Tours.com for the last 18 years. He has provided consulting services with the majority of Fortune 500 industrial corporations improving group communication dynamics of all types in manufacturing environments