Preventing turnover during a peak period

  • workforce insights
  • January 12, 2017


Preventing turnover during a peak period

Employee turnover is an ongoing challenge for employers, but for logistics and supply-chain companies, these first few months of the year can be particularly painful. With surging e-commerce sales and the growing popularity of perks like free shipping, the post-holiday period brings an inevitable spike in returns.

For logistics and supply-chain companies, being understaffed (especially when it happens unexpectedly) can have devastating effects at a time when there is increased pressure from customers to shorten the link from return origination to the time of resale.  

With the goal to keep productivity high, here are some of our top tips for managers to prevent burnout and turnover among workers:

Review worker pay

A market with low unemployment means employers have to work harder to find and hire quality talent. At the same time, it gives workers more confidence and options to change jobs. While pay increases are often cited as one of the most effective ways to decrease turnover rates, Payscale’s 2016 Compensation Best Practices Report found that only 36 percent of employees believe that they are paid fairly.

TIP: Ensure the pay you are offering is competitive, given the current job market, and consider offering an incentive to reward workers who complete all of their shifts. Not sure how much you should pay? Contact your local Randstad office today to request a complimentary copy of the 2017 Manufacturing & Logistics Salary Guide.

Create a positive work environment

Peak periods are generally great for business, but not always for employee morale or worker safety. Be mindful of workers’ high stress levels and take time to frequently celebrate small achievements so they feel a sense of accomplishment. Recognition is one of the most powerful motivators because of its simplicity and its impact.

TIP: Don’t underestimate the power of saying “thank you.” Positive feedback has a big impact on self-esteem, and high self-esteem leads to better performance.

Let them learn

Workers who experience continuous learning and development are more likely to stay and be productive contributors. Offer opportunities for workers to learn new things and upgrade their skills.  

TIP: Offer job rotation or cross training when possible to keep workers engaged. As an added benefit, your employees’ new skills will also minimize the impact of worker shortages in the future.

Have a plan

The best way to avoid being understaffed is to prepare – and have a backup plan. No matter how well you strategize, you can’t assume that your workforce will remain intact through your peak season. Being properly staffed not only prevents employee burnout, it also minimizes the risk of injuries due to overexertion or lack of proper rest.

TIP: Have a plan in place to source additional workers who can onboard quickly in the midst of your peak season. (Hint: Randstad can help!)