Aside from the obvious, things like: dependability, counting, walking, lifting – there are several basic yet important intangibles associated with work in the warehouse. Let’s take a look at a few of them…
Get along with others
While this pretty much applies to life in general, the relatively close confines of a warehouse makes it ultra-important to respect those one is in constant contact with. Conflict can quickly escalate.
Remember, distribution is a team environment; and when someone is picking slowly or making errors, the entire team suffers. This can mean working late, missed bonus incentives, and so on. You don’t necessarily have to like everyone you work with – just respect them, get along during working hours, and remember that you are all tied to a common goal.
Grasp the big picture
Understand the processes, procedures and all related functions. Not only does this help emphasize the importance of each person’s link in the chain; but it allows for input for continuous improvement at a grassroots level.
Grasping the big picture allows you to troubleshoot problems and look for areas where efficiency can be improved. Ever hear the expression: ” Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”? What happens if that conveyor unexpectedly goes down? Is your operation dead in the water; or do you know enough about the process and end goal to quickly and instinctively implement a solution? Thinking on your feet is important in all aspects of life; and the warehouse is no exception.
Interest and aptitude to be cross trained
Many distribution facilities require cross-training. This helps out immensely during times when you may be short staffed or have to reassign workers to help out in strained areas.
But there are a few workers who take cross training to new levels. Some will proactively become certified to operate material handling equipment, learn about the company’s warehouse management software, or become proficient in a number of other areas.
Aside from the warehouse there is generally opportunity for advancement within other areas of the business. Companies generally look for workers who are eager to learn, willing to take on new challenges, and have proven themselves reliable and worthy for advancement. If this requires further training or education, many companies will even fund part or all of your education expenses.
More to come next week!