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How to Boost Employee Motivation and Morale Through Learning

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The massive supply chain disruptions felt during the pandemic illustrated the importance of logistics, and the massive shift toward online shopping has posed enormous distribution challenges that see little sign of slowing down. In this climate, it’s an ongoing challenge to secure sufficient, dependable logistics and distribution personnel. 

It’s more crucial than ever to keep your workforce engaged. Here are the main factors that motivate workers:

  • Wages. State and local minimum wage increases and voluntary wage hikes by major employers like Amazon have signaled a move to higher pay rates. And in a year where extended unemployment benefits and two stimulus payments have aided hourly workers, they are less likely to go back to the old status quo.
  • Flexible schedules. Remote work is rarely an option in this field; however, offering staggered schedules, the opportunity to work four 10-hour days, or simply more flexibility regarding work/life balance is important—particularly in a climate where childcare issues are still uncertain.
  • Feeling valued. In our What Workers Want survey, 48% of workers overall said they were expecting improved work/life balance in the post-pandemic workscape.

    Raising wages and offering flexibility are simple fixes. Ensuring that employees feel valued is more complex. Upskilling and education are historically big motivational factors, if done correctly.

    Talent in the Logistics & Distribution space now has a key opportunity to be upskilled into some exciting future roles. New technologies such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things, drone delivery and driverless vehicles will shape the industry in the next few years, and those who want to excel will need to upskill.
10 Ways to Create a Culture of Learning 
  • Promote and celebrate employee investment in education and learning. From the CEO on down, leaders need to model learning behavior.
  • Create clear career pathways to in-demand/emerging jobs and make learning part of your employee’s specific career path.
  • Monitor the learner’s progress with check-ins or milestones to enhance motivation.
  • Encourage independent thinking. The Society for Human Resource Management (SRHM) calls this “teaching how, not what.”
  • Treat failure as an expected consequence of learning. It’s safe to take risks and to make mistakes rather than always take the “expected” route.
  • Make learning as easy and accessible as possible. Meet the learner where he or she lives. That means enabling on-demand learning when possible.
  • Consider a career coach. New employees benefit from input regarding what they should be learning and how it can benefit them.
  • Build learning into routine performance reviews—make it an expected part of career development.
  • Consider your entire workforce – permanent and contingent.  
  • Celebrate achievements. This can be as simple as awarding badges and/or public recognition. Some companies go a step further with financial rewards or gift cards.
Why is this important?

Companies with nimble learners gain on several fronts. They can:

  • React quickly to disruptions, adapting to meet the demands of a changing industry. They have their own pipeline of talent ready for the next challenge.
  • Harness ideas for new products, services and processes — leading the change in their prospective industries
  • Boost morale. Our Closing the Skills Gap report found that 79% of employees who are offered free training like their jobs, while only 61% of employees without free training said the same.
  • Attract new talent. In this candidate-driven job market, skilled in-demand candidates have choice. The ability to visualize a clear career path adds value to your organization.
  • Retain current employees. It costs about 25% more to hire vs. retain; the improved employee motivation and morale driven by education can drive down turnover and improve retention rates.

    How Manpower can help 

    Embrace a strategy that includes upskilling as a way to develop talent. One way we do this at Manpower is through our Manpower Acceleration Program, a part of MyPath, a robust training and development program that provides training, education, career coaching and development so Manpower associates find a meaningful career pathway. For example, we have a warehouse/production team lead certification program that essentially welcomes talent in entry level roles to take courses on leadership, management and more so that they complete the program ready to take the next step to elevate in their career. It requires a four to six week commitment over six weeks, at no cost to the active Manpower associate.

    Offering training such as this is an outstanding way to provide meaning and added value to your staff in a way that boosts your retention rates.

    The workforce is changing. Getting and keeping talent isn’t easy, but it’s essential — and by creating a culture of learning, all parties will reap the benefits. For more about MyPath, click here.

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