There’s a tricky balancing act to operating as efficiently as possible while not breaking the bank. Fortunately, there are ways to do this – and it all starts with your staff.
If you want to get the absolute best out of your employees, then you should be prepared to give your best to them first. Remember: you’re a team, and if a team member is feeling left behind or is not up to the task (particularly when it comes to material handling), it can affect everybody around them – even the business itself.
Having the best people on board can help you to generate more revenue and is key to growing your operations. Here are five reasons why investing in your staff will save your forklift fleet money in the long run.
1. It’s Ethical
First of all, giving back to your staff is the right thing to do morally. If you think back to the jobs you’ve had in the past, I’m sure your favourites were the ones where your managers respected and valued you.
People work harder and have more of an interest in their work if they feel that their needs are met.
It can even be worth asking your employees directly what it is that they’d like to get out of their role and what they feel they could benefit from. Let them have some input into how your firm runs and their enthusiasm and loyalty will increase by no end.
2. It Creates a Happier Working Environment
Happy staff are productive staff. This is related to the point above but is worth expanding upon. If your employees feel well-respected and feel like they are part of a solid team, then they are much more likely to work to their full potential.
Something we’ve found to work incredibly well, for both morale and productivity, is to train all of our employees in multiple roles. This is a time- and money-saver overall, as if any of the team are away through illness or emergency (particularly on short notice), then operations aren’t affected and everyone can continue on efficiently.
Even if this isn’t a viable option for you, it can still be worth making everybody aware, on a deeper level, just how each aspect of your business functions and how everybody else’s specific roles play a crucial part in the bigger picture, as well as on a day-to-day basis.
3. You’ll Save Money on Recruitment
By investing in your current employees, you’ll save much more time and money on recruiting and training up new staff members. If everybody in your team is satisfied in their role and well-skilled at what they do then there is less likely to be frustrations involving staff turnover.
This cuts down on initial training costs, as you’ll have to go through those processes less frequently. It also avoids lost man hours, and your team is less likely to be a person or two down, should anybody leave the company.
4. You’ll Save Money on Equipment
As well as spending less on recruitment, you can also expect to see some savings on equipment and machinery. By ensuring your whole team is being given the best possible training and encouragement, you can reduce the amount of breakages and damage to company property.
This is more important than ever now that electric forklifts are phasing out diesel-based ones. The starting cost may be slightly higher for electric trucks, but training your team to a high standard on the upkeep and maintenance will work out far more cost-effective over time.
When staff members are confident in their abilities and use of trucks, you’ll have far fewer replacement parts to buy and fewer accidents to deal with. Safety and reliability are the keys here, and this comes down to the trust you put in your operators.
Forklift maintenance is a highly skilled task. These machines are well-designed and specialised, so an increased knowledge of the fleet will mean more respect for the machines. If your drivers know why something like battery maintenance is important, then they are more likely to keep them in good shape.
Along with this investment in upkeep, your operators will spot errors and malfunctioning trucks much sooner if they know what to look for.
5. It Creates a Good Company Reputation
Word spreads quickly when people are unsatisfied in their jobs, but it also gets out when people are happy with their roles and the company they work for.
Having a positive reputation can lead to countless benefits, from getting the best candidates seeking you out and current employees staying with you for longer, to increased sales and lead generation. People always want to work with the best, and the team you have around you is a vital part of that.
It can be worth looking at what your competitors are offering too. Then you are able to go above and beyond, making your fleet the one that people want to be a part of.
How Much Could Your Operations Save?
What this all boils down to is making sure everyone on your team feels valued. A great place to start is by including your employees in some of the company decision-making. For example, you could get input from your drivers and operators when choosing a new model of forklift truck – they'll be the ones using it, after all.
Investing in your staff doesn’t end with the business and operating side either. Perks and benefits such as extracurricular activities, and fun or relaxing break areas, can be just as important to your employees as the actual nature of the work they do. Nobody wants to arrive at work, do thankless tasks, and then leave unhappy.
Investing in the skills and well-being of your staff can ultimately save you money and make forklift fleet management much more efficient.
For more tips and information on bringing down your total ownership costs, download our complete guide to TCO now.