Spit it out!
The job is challenging, both physically and mentally. Nevertheless, the employees are thriving. What’s their secret?
The warehouse is a tough gig. It’s heavy work in a risky environment. You spend the whole day inside a metal box with no windows.”
The words are spoken by Cedric Chebib. Cedric is a Production Manager at PostNord TPL – more specifically at the Hästhagen facility in Helsingborg – and he knows what he’s talking about. Before he became manager, he was a forklift operator in the 13,500 sqm warehouse.
However, in spite of the slightly cynical description, the workplace scores high in FOCUS, the PostNord employee survey.
Together, the staff at the warehouse have found a way of working that allows them to really enjoy their tough job. They’ve become a tight-knit group who support one another.
“Everyone is aware of the daily targets and helps out to make sure we hit them,” says team leader Karl-Johan Adenskog, whose own goal is to ensure the team works well together.
One way to do this is through the daily morning meetings. Everyone at the warehouse takes part, and everyone can have a say.
“Everyone is given the chance to speak, and I encourage everyone to be fair and honest. There are some things that can be difficult to say, but spit it out! It’s going to come out sooner or later anyway,” says Cedric.
The fact that it’s a relatively small workplace helps employees dare to speak up.
“A lot of people have been here for a long time, and we’re quite a close group. We trust one another and we trust our managers. That means we don’t shy away from talking about improvements that can be made and improvements we need to make,” says forklift operator, Niklas Edghill.
When a new suggestion is made, Cedric is quick to try it out.
“The best idea wins, so we give everyone a fair shot. It also boosts motivation when people can say, ’Hey, that’s my idea, and we’re using it!’” he adds.
“It encourages you to come up with other solutions, to find ways to do things better,” he says.
Seemingly simple things can work wonders for well-being. For example, making sure that employees are given new shoes or a new shirt as soon as they ask for it. It’s also about accepting feedback – both when you’ve done something well and when you’ve made a mistake. It’s about feeling involved and motivated.
“Ever since I started working at PostNord, I’ve felt appreciated. I’ve always felt that I’ve done a good job. I’ve worked at other places where it wasn’t like this, and that’s an unpleasant feeling. You work hard but you don’t get the recognition you feel you deserve. I’ve always received it here. Feeling appreciated really boosts your job satisfaction, says Niklas.
The unit also puts a lot of time into training new employees, so that they feel welcome and have all the tools they need to tackle the challenging job.
To further increase job satisfaction, they’re currently working to expand employees’ skills. The chance to move up through the ranks is a major motivating factor.
“I started out as a picker. Having the chance to move up and try taking on more responsibility means that everyone goes the extra mile. And it helps to build a positive working environment,” says Karl-Johan.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that everyone at the TPL warehouse likes each other.
“It’s easy to be social, joke around and laugh because we work so closely together. This makes the work more fun and more enjoyable in an otherwise tough environment; it’s really empowering,” concludes Niklas.
FOCUS: “EVERYONE NEEDS TO CONTRIBUTE”
The physical and social working environments are measured every year as a part of FOCUS, the PostNord employee survey. Its purpose is to check the status of employee job satisfaction and loyalty. The survey contains questions about everything from working conditions and ergonomics, to working relationships, behavior and what they think of their immediate manager.
“Of course, there are differences between how people experience their workplace and what has the biggest impact on job satisfaction and motivation. However, one majoy factor across all areas is good leadership. This, in turn, is dependent on established work processes, and maintaining a good, respectful dialog. Everyone needs to actively contribute to creating a good working environment,” says Mads Boelt, Nordic HR Expert at PostNord.
Left to right, back row: Fredrik Nilsson, Motaz Alharidi, Raz Jabarkhil, Remzi Mehmeti, Fadi Mohammed, Niklas Edghill, Edvin Turkic, Nikola Cica. Left to right, front row: Jonathan Jirefalk, Anders Kardell, Philip Håkansson, Emile Zaidan, Christopher Wintersvahn, Fo Luong, Måns Pihl, Zeljko Gojkovic, Karl-Johan Adenskog, Peter Sundman, Ehsan Sawwari and Cedric Chebib. Absent: Ibrahim El Jishi, Roman Nistor, Patrik Vikegard, Shah Masood Barna, Jesper Hjel and Dennis Larsen.