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Using Evidence-Based Practice to Increase Engagement in a 3PL Warehouse

Posted by Susan Denman on Sep 13, 2016 8:47:58 AM

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In one of our recent blogs, we talked a lot about the importance of people in the future workplace. People are the most important part of any 3PL and should be treated as such—rather than just another cog in the wheel. Companies have to embrace policies that help both the company and its workforce equally.

With this in mind, we took labor research head-on with Gallup's workplace engagement survey. Here's how the process has worked for us so far, along with nuggets of knowledge we would pass to companies considering employee engagement options:

Gallup's Q12 Survey

Kenco has signed a 3-year agreement with Gallup. The Q12 Survey is a way to find quantifiable measurements from qualitative metrics. We embarked on this quest to create better employee engagement and make sure our employees are the most engaged, motivated 3PL specialists in the job market. Our goal is to share the information with our employees and implement impact planning. Impact planning is a chance for supervisors to sit down with their associates and discuss the survey results. Without this impact plan component, the survey is merely an opportunity for the associate to express their feelings, but no follow through. 

gallup-q12-increase-engagement-3pl-warehouse.png The 12-question survey boils down hundreds of queries into a dozen accurate, result-driven questions. It's all about creating measurements that mean something and can create actionable strategies.

We wanted to find out how our employees felt about their jobs, have a conversation about the answers, and then take action to improve their quality of work. When there's real data to act on, there's no guessing. 

One year into the Gallup process with a handful of our sites, we have already gathered data that shows an increase in engagement. The results really show talking about the 12 survey items has made a huge difference. By employees having their voices heard and getting the results back from a survey, we have seen a real difference.  

The goal is that this will not be a program but simply part of our overall culture—directly impacting part of our worker's everyday life, expectations, recognition, opportunities, emotional connection, opinions, etc. 

Contract For Change

The Contract For Change program is another example of how we create engagement for operations experiencing consistent performance issues.

It starts by identifying key operation areas of concern and then nominates leaders to a steering committee. This helps to engage the employees and create accountability among those working on the site.

We document our desired results and, with the help of the steering committee, create actions for change. To create further buy-in on the well-being of the site, we hold a facility-wide signing to commemorate our turning point. We hold weekly meetings to address ongoing concerns and develop solutions for any unforeseen factors as they appear.

All of this starts to add up to the success of the site and employees in their jobs. For example, after one of our sites implemented the Contract for Change program, it reduced turnover from 38% to 14% within this first year. By bringing the workforce together and engaging them in the areas that need the most improvement, our sites can improve their already excellent performance.

Best Practices Selecting a 3PL

To Sum It All Up

Evidence-based practice is the most formidable way to show what is really happening at each site. It is more than employee reviews or emotion surveys that result in no action. It lets us see our employee issues through data and allows us to make changes to better engage them at the workplace.

The best part about it all? When engagement is implemented correctly, you see employee retention going up, lower absenteeism, turnover, theft, and safety incidents occur; staff works harder, high-quality work is completed, and we all perform better.

Your ideal 3PL should practice employee engagement and consistent improvement. To see the other important factors involved in choosing the right 3PL, download our eBook, Selecting and Managing a Third-Party Logistics Provider.

Susan Denman

Written by Susan Denman

VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES offering an outstanding, prolific record of achievement in building and managing robust HR organizations within diverse industries (pharmaceuticals to consumer goods), including Asian Pacific, Latin American, and European markets.