Why Distribution Supervisors Define The Culture In An Organization

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How do the supervisors in a distribution centre affect an organization’s workplace culture?

To understand the answer, we must first look at whether it is the employees or supervisors (or perhaps even both) who define this culture.

Misconceptions About Workplace Culture Influences

A common myth that leaders buy into is workplace culture emerges solely from the behavior of employees, and that managers or supervisors do not have much to do with it.

However, the fact remains that 26% of employees are more likely to leave when they feel a lack of respect from their colleagues. Moreover, most people would agree that the tolerance of disrespectful conduct reflects the culture.

The remaining question, then, is how does one go about shaping workplace culture so that it does become high-performing and respectful?

Employee Turnover Shifts Within A Culture Of Positivity

We had one distribution centre that had a turnover rate of more than 100%. In other words, they had to recruit 20 employees per week to keep the headcount steady.

One of the causes was a supposedly “toxic” and punitive culture. From the moment an employee arrived in the morning, there appeared a sign that threatened one’s employment under certain conditions.

Hence, there were signs of negative reinforcement.

And why should a business operate like a prison?

Employees who came in — were initially excited about working for a new company — but became overwhelmed and instantly uncomfortable. Moreover, such messaging only fueled the flames of animosity among workers and supervisors. Eventually, such a hostile environment became the standard culture.

To change the culture, we worked with the employees; the goal was to ensure that all negativity from the initial first impression was removed.

Messaging was edited to become more positive.

As expected, employees noticed that they significantly reduced their turnover simply by creating this more respectful culture.

The goal from here (for any organization) is to maintain such a culture with a low turnover of distribution staff.

Improving Workplace Culture With Frontline Leadership

In an ideal situation, distribution centre staff turnover would stay small and reduced.

Fortunately, we have several key tips and suggestions on encouraging your workplace culture to be better through the actions of your frontline leaders.

Tip One: Design The Culture You Want

Culture should not be something that you “allow” to happen. Specifically, what do you “want” to happen? If the culture is defined as our shared agreement about what it takes to fit in an organization, then how are you going to decide what it is that you want people to think of when you think of what it takes to fit in?

Design the culture that you want.

Ask yourself what behaviors you want to see more and less of. After all, simply having a clear picture of what is important is the first step to improving organizational management.
Culture should not be something that you allow to happen. Specifically, what do you want to happen? Click To Tweet

Tip Two: Practice The Golden Rule

I think most of us realize that “the golden rule” is to treat people as you would like to be treated.

Of course, there are limitations to this rule. Not everyone wants to be treated the same way you do. Yet, if you take it at its basic structure, you would be getting a message that says, “If I want people to treat me with respect, I am going to treat other people with respect.”

So, you start to recognize that leaders have to treat people as colleagues, not as direct reports.

It is not a command-and-control structure. Rather, it is an empowering coaching-type environment you are trying to create.
Treat people as you would like to be treated. Click To Tweet

Tip Three: Ensure That Leaders Live The Culture

At this point, it is not enough just to say, “This is the culture we want, and this is what that means.”

Instead, the message should portray: “We are going to be looking into this. We are going to be measuring it, we are going to be asking employees for feedback, and we are not going to tolerate an environment where the leaders are not living our values.”

We do not promote or encourage threatening people and saying, “Either you live these proactive values, or you are gone.”

After all, such an action goes against the positive reinforcement I was promoting earlier. What we are suggesting, however, is that we must identify the gaps between how the leaders are behaving now and what we would like them to do.

We must do this if we have any hopes of coaching them along.

Will there always be that odd casualty that is unwilling to change? Yes, that is inevitable. Still, the focus must be on aligning workers coaching with a site’s cultural values. Doing so immediately results in a significant drop in employee turnover.

You now have a culture that people want to work for.

Managing A Workplace Culture Of Employee Satisfaction

Even leaders, HR, and the talent department want to create an environment that is positive, constructive, and high performing. You have made their lives easier by reducing employee turnover and by investing in your frontline leaders.

Now it is time to focus on the other areas that deserve the same attention, and this is where our Front Line Leadership training program comes in.

While we do deliver services on-site and in person, we also offer a beautiful multi-camera studio option as well. Regardless, we look forward to working with you; we will be your resource when you need help creating this successful

Like any step toward executive success, it all starts with a conversation. That means visiting our website at uniquedevelopment.com. You can also connect with us on one of our many social media channels.

No matter what it takes, we want to be your partners in creating high-performing cultures of the future.