How Communication in Warehouses is Changing with Technology
Technology can replace communication, but the real question is, should it?
As much as we depend on technology to supplement communication, it should not replace the humanity required in most situations.
Technology has significantly improved how we track goods, determine what is required next, and measure efficiency. Where it falls short is replicating human interaction.
Furthermore, effective communication between teams and stakeholders is crucial for overall success.
Replacing Communication with Technology
A group of operations leaders in one of the warehouses where we provided training invested significant funds into state-of-the-art technology to improve how they processed orders from start to finish. This system even efficiently routed workers through the facility.
As a result, the operations leaders no longer had a reason to leave their offices. Hence, instead of interacting with their colleagues on the shop floor, they relied on technology to replace those interactions.
The employees appreciated knowing they had a clear understanding of the expectations, where to do it, and the most efficient path through the warehouse, but they missed the interaction overall. It was realized that team members wanted communication in the workplace for the following reasons:
- Receiving updates on whether productivity was on track or falling short.
- Strengthening the professional relationship with their operations leader.
- Validation that the business did not view each individual as a number.
As you can imagine, the employee scores were relatively weak in the month or two after the technology was implemented. Then, they realized interactions were more significant to overall success than previously assumed.
Improving Communication in the Workplace
Tip Number One: Manage by Walking Around
Managers and supervisors should be walking, talking, and interacting with employees. This can be an opportunity to provide performance feedback and contribute to small talk, so that team members feel like valued members of your team.
Tip Number Two: Keep People in the Loop
One of the top motivators for any team member is knowing what is going on. Employees care about changes, updates, or concerns in the workplace much more than most supervisors realize.
Supervisors and operations managers should keep their team informed of the company and not solely for information directly impacting their position.
Tip Number Three: Be Friendly and Approachable
As technology integrates more into our lives, it allows us to focus more on tasks, priorities, and details.
We need to remain friendly and approachable with our teams so that there is no misconception about the level of care we have for them as individuals. Avoid the loss of humanity by integrating interactions as part of your communication in a warehouse.
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