Great warehouse shift managers are hard to find, but your business really can’t do without them. Your shift managers are your eyes and ears on the ground, implementing policies, solving problems, and keeping everything running smoothly while you’re away. But what should you look for in a shift manager? The three keys to business success are products, process, and people. So your warehouse shift managers should be knowledgeable about all three. Here’s what you should know.
The best warehouse shift managers will know just as much about your products as you do. Of course, you’ll need to train them, since no one else’s products are identical to yours. But you’ll want to hire people who are familiar with the space your products occupy in the market, and are smart and eager to learn.
A great warehouse shift manager not only understands the processes you use, but he or she understands why they matter. Look for someone with a critical eye, who not only wants to learn and apply your processes but isn’t afraid to speak up when there is room for improvement. You should be able to trust your shift managers to enforce your processes while you’re away, as well as to build upon or modify them when needed.
Any strong shift manager must have excellent people skills. Leadership, teaching ability and, above all, communication skills are vital. Your shift managers serve as your direct link to your team, training new hires and ensuring that seasoned employees are doing their best work. They must know how to take the reins and make key decisions when issues arise, and also how to avoid micromanaging when things are running smoothly.
Great warehouse shift managers are worth searching for. They’re not always easy to find, but tailoring your interviews to check candidates’ product knowledge, process orientation, and people skills will go a long way toward helping you make the best choices.