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By Warehouse and Operations as a Career and Operations as a Career. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

As young Leads and Supervisors, do you look at yourself as a Teacher or a Trainer? Do we know the difference? That’s one of the questions I’d like to explore here today. I’m Marty with Warehouse and Operations as a Career and I’m wondering if we don’t confuse the two way too often!

One of the things I loved about elementary school was lunch. Those squares of pizza and the squares of Fish we’re my favorites. I don’t remember a lot about the day to day activities, but I can remember that I liked recess, dodge ball out in the courtyard seems to have made quite the impression on me. Ever smell that red rubber latex smell when you see that type of a ball? How many times did you take a direct hit to the nose, or how many times did you deliver one to an opponent!

Anyway, in school our teachers taught us. They did not train us right. We Teach to Learn. Train TO Experience. I was venting to a CFO this week and she threw out that bit of wisdom. I was venting because I felt like, how do I say, I believed some trainers, especially very tenured or people that felt tenured were taking on the role of physiatrist and teacher even.

I teach a warehousing class. It is a classroom setting. I start by getting to know a little about everyone, what they’ve done and why there here, what are some short term and long-term goals. I want to know what their expectations are for the class, what do they want to get out of it!

I teach this class. We clean up our social media first, a step that is overlooked by so many job seekers. I explain what needs to be on our resume, we actually help the students build a resume, I share how to handle the phone interview and of course the key words needed to get that job!

Then we go into each position. I talk about what an Unloader is and does, what the Receiver position is responsible for, and how the pallet runner then runs the tagged or received pallets from the front docks to the aisles for his or her forklifts. We then break down what a Putaway forklift operator does and how the next step in the chain switches us from the Inbound duties into the outbound world. Order selecting, probably the most coveted warehouse position, I love talking about the order selectors job and responsibilities and why it can pay so well. And then we move on into the Replenishment Forklift duties, and the loader s job. I also discuss the Sanitation and Inventory Control positions. It’s a great class and helps explain the many positions of warehousing. When giving this class I Teach what these positions are. I explain why each position exists and how it connects to the next.

Let’s check out Merriam webster real quick. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teach

To cause to know something

To impart the knowledge of

To accustom to some action or attitude

Interesting right?

The second part of the same class, I say second part, it actually stands alone as well, anyway, we then go out into the warehouse where we train to each of the positions mentioned above. Hands on, we train how to stack an inbound pallet using the proper ti and hi, using a breakdown sheet to segregate items and pallet configurations. Then we receive those pallets, checking counts and verifying products, entering them into the system and completing the bill of laden. We train to how a pallet jack works, all it’s controls, what each one does and how to operate it. We send each candidate through their PIT training and explain the importance of understanding safety at all times. Then we train to the put away task, how to place pallets into the reserves, the hazards and cautions relating to the task. And then order selecting and how to properly stack our product on our pallets, how to ti freight together and not column stack it. I love training to this position because we get to experience productivity and competition with one another. Yep, then we train how do do a replenishment, pull the existing empty pallet, move it out of the way or stage it with our other stack, bring the new or full pallet down from the reserves and properly and securely place it in the pick or selection slot. I love training how a forklift works and how to operate it. And then we do the same with Loading, inventory control and all the sanitation positions. Hands on, doing the positions. let’s check out https://www.dictionary.com/browse/train

To develop or form habits, or behavior by discipline and instruction

To make proficient by instruction and practice

What was it we learned a little earlier? Teach to Learn and Train TO Experience

I tell clients every week that I can teach you or an associate how to be safe on equipment and in the warehouse, and all they What’s, How’s and Why’s and train the same to how to perform the position or operate the machine or equipment but it’s the experience that will complete their training, proficiency and performance!

OK, I strayed a little, but I think those are some examples we can understand and as young leads and supervisors it’s important that we know the difference. Where I wanted to go with all this is that yes, training and being a trainer, willing to work with others. Yes, teach and train them is a part of our positions. But I feel we have to know the difference. Are we teaching them with documented facts and accepted practices and are we training them the proper way, following all our companies stand operating procedures or are we training them to how we do the job? There is a difference, and that’s not a good thing. Leaving our opinions and thoughts out of it or keeping them to ourselves is the hardest part of teaching or training? Would anyone disagree with that? But it is imperative that we can or do. If you can’t commit to that, well, front line management may not be for us!

I was speaking with a trainer I work with, Chris, he’s actually an OSHA outreach instructor as well, I’ll try and get him on the show sometime. He had a great sentence too. •Teaching presents new knowledge while training is the application of knowledge to develop the skillset using various techniques and experience.

We talked about how our bad habits as leads and Sup’s, if we trach or train to them, can and most likely will lead to issues, accidents and injuries! I mean if we bend the rules a bit, just to get done a little earlier or a little easier, haven’t we really just failed out team?

Over the last several weeks we’ve talked about being a trainer, wither in title or just a responsibility we all bear working in a warehouse. One of our objectives here at WAOC is Safety of course, and Advancement and Opportunities.

So back to the point I wanted to make 10 minutes ago. I feel and I’m seeing businesses hiring again. I’ve seen 48 different positions filled this week. It’s exciting, and I for one can’t wait for thins to get back to some form of normal. That being said though, we, leads and supervisors are going to be doing a lot more training. We need to teach what needs to be taught and train to what needs to be trained. Leave our opinions, and our own ways of doing things out of the classroom and off the floor. I could see how as members of front-line management we could have gotten a little lax over the last couple of months. Things have been slower than usual, maybe we’ve had fewer team members or personalities to manage. Shoot maybe we’ve been performing a lot of the task’s others used to do. In any event it’s our responsibility to do things right. Teach others to be Safe and train them how to do that.

Oh, and I have one more quick question for today. As I was thinking about teaching and training this week, I found myself reflecting on strengths and weaknesses. How do you feel about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses? I try and evaluate mine about every 6 months or so. I’ve learned to live with a few weaknesses I’m just not going to be able to change, been trying for 30 years, but recognizing them is a, plus right? And for strengths, well, I feel they help me grow as an individual. I try each week to move a couple of weaknesses over to the strength column. A little reflection, some self-education and listening to others helps me accomplish that every week.

Until next week, please reflect for a bit, and teach and train your new boots with documentation and preferred work methods, not with opinions and bad practices. Remember Teach to Learn. Train to Experience.

Have a prosperous, productive and Safe week Ladies and Gentlemen!

209 episodes