5 Keys to Training Your Warehouse Supervisors

posted on: Friday April 17, 2015

08-abouta_1Warehouse Supervisors have one of the most complex, evolved, and difficult jobs in the supply chain. They must understand and perform every duty – from operational to clerical. They must not only have all of the technical skills on the floor, but also supervisory, interpersonal, and training skills. When you look at everything involved in this job, it’s nothing short of a miracle you were able to find someone up to the task. So how do you train for such a diverse role?

The Graziadio Business Review published an article focusing on this question. The authors, listed below, conducted a research project to define the warehouse supervisor’s changing roles, competencies, job requirements, and training needs. (Read full article here.)

From this publication, we can recommend some strategies and key points to include. For example, most warehouse training is conducted in an unstructured manner. However, if supervisor training is this informal, the results can be catastrophic.  Systematic training programs that include both operational and managerial components yield the most savvy and capable managers/supervisors.

Here are five other key points to include:

  1. Begin at the operating level – Any long-term programmatic training and development should start here.  This improves time-to-competence, problem resolution, and productivity.
  2. Growth and Development – At the operational level, your supervisor should be trained on stress management for him or
  3. Training as a trainer – Your supervisor needs guidance on how to be an effective trainer at all levels. Don’t neglect to train your employee as a meeting conductor, as well.
  4. Expand your training sources – Sources to train any employee are far more plentiful than they are utilized. There are web-based trainings, training firms, colleges, consulting firms, and more. Blended training will enhance their skills.
  5. Ergonomics – Injuries are one of the highest expenses that exist in manual material handling. A supervisor can prevent these costs by noticing when a job can lead to injury and taking action to fix it. In being proactive about this, the supervisor will also help the crew be more productive.

If your company is looking for an ergonomic solution that improves productivity, consider a Load Mover power tugger. This equipment is one of the most common solutions manufacturers implement for pushing and pulling tasks. They are safe, durable, and can replace both manpower and forklifts. If you’re looking to spare injuries and improve your profit margin, contact Load Mover at 952-767-1720 or info@loadmoverinc.com.

*The authors of “Managing the Critical Role of the Warehouse Supervisor” are: David McMahon, PhD; Jeffery Periatt, PhD; Jon Car, PhD; and Stephen A. Lemay, PhD.