The increased demand has had a remarkable effect on freight operators nationally. Freight New Zealand says, “to meet the unprecedented parcels demand, NZ Post established 16 new or recommissioned parcel processing facilities, has chartered additional freighter flights, is operating some of its processing facilities 24/7 and has created more than 600 new casual roles.”
With such major growth in headcount, facilities, and work volume, and corresponding investments in automation, robotics, and AI, there has been a rapid shift in the kinds of workers the industry seeks as well as the kind of work many are performing. In addition, with transport roles experiencing long journeys, long hours and a sedentary lifestyle, and warehouse workers working in an implicitly dangerous environment, there has been pressure on the industry to invest more in the health and wellbeing of its staff.
The freight and logistics industry needs workplaces that are fit for today’s purpose but will also continue to adapt as the industry advances. In order to continue to attract the kind of skilled labour these organisations now need, we’ve seen the big end of town leverage workplace strategy for competitive advantage.
This is because workplace strategy enables so much more than a good-looking office. It is a framework that helps organisations identify the ways a workplace can improve efficiency, productivity, wellbeing and culture. The right strategy delivers a workplace that can attract and retain talent via a productive, enjoyable and comfortable workplace experience – it can even help people deliver on broader business goals, such as innovation, or sustainability.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which this industry can leverage workplace strategy and design for business benefit.
Talent attraction and retention
The freight and logistics industry, like other sectors, has an aging workforce which is affecting the age profile of its employees. As these older workers leave the industry in the coming years, a challenge arises: matching younger workers to jobs traditionally done by a different type of employee.
Unfortunately, the F&L industry has long been tarred with the brush of an undesirable career. But, with dramatic change has come a change in this image – with logistics organisations now needing every type of talent: from truckies to techies, from automation engineers to warehouse workers – they’re in demand. But perhaps the newer breed employee that’s required by this evolving sector is the highly skilled digital operator.
These employees have come from different industries, and their needs and expectations are different from those who have grown up in freight; they require a modern, invested approach to culture, diversity, career development, equipment and environment.
The environment component, therefore, requires careful research and planning. This includes a strategy for physical space – the actual layout, work environments, work furniture and equipment, and fixtures. But it also includes policies and technologies. Any workplace that is lacking or dated on any one of these will find it difficult to nab a world-class digital operator from Atlassian.