Convincing warehouse workers to be more productive makes an incentive a tool worth considering in your internal marketing plan. According to a survey conducted by the ARC Advisory Group, 76 percent of respondents made productivity gains of 10 percent or more in their warehouses after implementing incentive programs. The incentives are rewarded to employees who perform at certain levels that are above your company’s current warehousing standards, making them a win-win solution for both your business and your workers.

Create A Baseline

Developing an incentive plan starts with identifying a baseline that shows your current warehouse performance level. In a small business, your warehouse workers likely complete all kinds of tasks, including filling orders and restocking products. CleanLink recommends breaking down your warehousing tasks into incoming and outgoing tasks. Assign at least one employee to handle just incoming tasks, such as receiving and stocking shelves with products. Then, assign at least one other person to handle all of the outgoing tasks, such as fulfilling shipping orders. This makes it easier to gauge how quickly the tasks are completed each day to create your baseline.

Developing the Incentive

Use your baseline to determine what type of improvement you want to see in your warehouse. For instance, you may want to set up a tier of bonuses, starting with a small hourly rate bonus when employees exceed the baseline by 10 percent. Then, offer an extra bonus when your warehouse workers exceed a larger percentage. Another option is to offer your incentive program on a project basis. This allows you to test your incentive program to see how well it works and to show employees the potential payout for exceeding quotas.

Using Qualifiers

Some incentive plans include qualifiers that affect the incentive amount warehouse workers receive for exceeding the baseline. These qualifiers help warehouse workers stay safe and eliminate the idea that the incentive is solely based on doing more work. For instance, qualifiers might include safety violations, damage to product or equipment, such as loaders, and errors in shipping, such as packaging the wrong product to a customer. You the adjust the incentive is then adjusted downward whenever these problems crop up during a certain time frame.

Getting Workers Enthused

Your incentive program won’t work very well if your warehouse workers aren’t enthusiastic about the idea. Rather than using a formal meeting to explain the idea to warehouse workers, quietly approach each worker and explain the program one-on-one. Focus on the benefits, and meet workers where they go for breaks, rather than bringing them in to talk to them from behind the desk. To keep the program going, give feedback as soon as workers complete a project that qualifies for the incentive.