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Technological updates, layout changes, organizational procedures…for your management and your staff, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes a warehouse can face through its lifetime. 

Accordingly, you may be faced with the occasional idea that you need to be constantly retraining your entire staff. While this could give everyone a great idea of what they need to be doing, and when, it can also result in a lot of lost productivity, not to mention everyone starting to get frustrated with the constant meetings (not that anyone ever gets sick of meetings, right?)

It can be tricky to know when to train up your existing warehouse team, and striking that balance can make a big difference when it comes to uptime, order speed, and overall productivity. 


When (And How) To Train Your Warehouse Staff


When safety standards change

The biggest thing to focus on in training – and, as a result, the area of training that will be revisited the most – is when safety needs change.

This can come from a variety of factors: new warehouse installations being installed (ie, your team needing to know how to use your gravity flow racks), new OSHA regulations being introduced, new tools and equipment being offered to the workers to help get things done, and so on. Keeping your workers safe from injury or improper equipment usage is always paramount, no matter what your warehouse deals in, and any big change that necessitates a new safety risk should be given top priority.


When handling processes change

For the most part, any warehouse team with some time under their belt doesn’t need to be retrained on every single little change to a warehouse, but larger shifts in process need to be prioritized and documented. If new RFID scanners are being used to find items on pallet racking and the technology is too different from what your team has used in the past, that could be a good time to introduce a round of training to prevent any mispicks or lost items. Additionally, if new items are being brought in that need to be handled more carefully (perishables, extremely fragile goods, etc), your team may need to be brought up to speed on what to do with these items when they’re encountered.


When opportunities arise for advancement

A great way to improve team retention is to offer opportunities for advancement or cross-training. If your workers express interest in learning other facets of the job (management, loading bay work, inventory management), then allowing them to cross-train can both improve the likelihood of them sticking around, as well as increasing productivity throughout the warehouse. A rising tide lifts all ships, as the saying goes, and if your team finds itself able to advance from their current positions and work in fields more suited for their talents, your warehouse might just find itself having an easier time of things overall.


Make it fun

Of course, nobody really enjoys training sessions, so the occasional pizza party doesn’t hurt.


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