Warehouse and Labor Management Systems: Performance Appraisal and Metrics

This is the second in a two-part series on warehouse and labor management. Last week we discussed the importance of performance management in improving productivity in the warehouse. To read that story, click here.

Labor management programs provide work measurement and quality control data to enable you to identify employees with unacceptable performance. You can review each week’s results and identify employees whose performance is below acceptable goals.

Beyond identifying trouble employees, the programs also identify employees with high levels of productivity and quality so that you can offer them equitable incentives. Although individual incentives are by far the most effective means of achieving higher levels of productivity, a program should be able to provide bonuses based on individual, team, or group results with features such as

* transfer allowance: Calculate a lower goal for employees transferring out of their home work area to promote staffing flexibility.

* unmeasured activities: Include incentive payments for qualified nonmeasured work.

* performance quality: Adjust employee incentives based on quality control statistics, if available.

* incentive monitoring: Provide a full set of reports to be sure the incentive program is equitable and does not get out of control.

A labor management program can also aid in training and monitoring. Use graphical presentations to monitor employee-training efforts and initiate a multistage performance appraisal process, including training and probation periods.

You can also use the data to identify temporary employees with superior performance for potential hiring and temps with poor performance whom you will no longer accept from the temporary agency.

Don Cook is president of Donald B. Cook & Associates, a New Brunswick, NJ-based labor management consultancy.