Top retention strategies for warehousing and logistics workers revealed in new survey


Kahoot!, the global learning and engagement platform company, has released new research insights for how companies can improve employee retention of their frontline workforce in warehousing and logistics.

This workforce powers the supply chain of many industries including e-commerce, healthcare, hospitality, retail and facilities management. However, during the past few years of supply chain disruptions and talent shortages, it’s gotten harder for the logistics industry to attract and retain frontline workers and managers, with warehouse employee turnover reaching 49% in recent years.

The Kahoot! survey data reveals how companies in the e-commerce, healthcare, hospitality, retail and facilities management industry can boost retention by investing in their frontline workforce with better skills training for long-term career growth. Key findings of the survey, which focused on frontline workers and their managers, include: 

Frontline Logistics and Warehouse Staff Are Hungry to Learn New Skills

Too often, frontline managers and workers get treated as easily replaceable, lower-skilled, and likely to churn. Companies can improve their employee retention by helping employees develop better skills to advance in their careers.

The Kahoot! Workplace Culture Report’s survey found that both these frontline managers and workers are highly curious and energized to learn new skills. Seventy-one percent of workers show high motivation for continuous learning at work, with an impressive 86% of logistics and warehouse managers sharing the same level of enthusiasm for ongoing professional development.

Here are a few ways frontline managers are currently taking initiative to upskill and expand their knowledge on their own time: 

  • 37% of managers are proactively reading books and articles
  • 29% have taken on side projects or freelance gigs to hone their career skills
  • 29% have tried new software or tech tools
  • 26% are proactively enrolling in career-related online courses and workshops
  • 18% are watching TED talks to learn and get inspired 

The survey also sheds light on how workers independently are taking initiative to upskill:

  • 38% of workers are are proactively reading books and articles
  • 28% are listening to podcasts and watching educational videos
  • 23% are pursuing certifications to validate their expertise
  • 20% have taken on side projects or freelance gigs to hone their career skills
  • 19% are proactively enrolling in career-related online courses and workshops 

“As the nature of hourly work evolves, it's imperative for companies to invest in the proper training and upskilling of hourly frontline employees, the backbone of industry operations. Overlooking their career advancement is not only a missed opportunity for the supply chain but also for the broader economy,” said James Micklethwait, VP, Kahoot! at Work. “Without adequate advancement opportunities, employees may feel disillusioned and disengaged - and ultimately leave. Frontline managers, a substantial workforce segment, wield influential leadership roles, shaping the overall success or challenges faced by the frontline workforce."

Frontline Training Provides a Decade-Long Return on Investment

The Kahoot! survey also found that better career guidance and training can deliver big ROI in terms of lower employee turnover and better retention. The survey asked logistics and warehouse managers how long they would be willing to stay with their current company if their employer would provide better career guidance and training. 

Here’s what they said: 

  • 73% of managers would be willing to stay at their company for at least six years if the company provided more career guidance and training
  • 57% would be willing to stay for 10 years or more 

As for the workers themselves, the survey showed that 44% would stay with their employer for an additional decade if offered a clearer path with advanced training.

AI's impact on the workforce is also on their radar. Sixteen percent of workers are already taking AI courses or pursuing certifications independently, while 51% recognize AI's importance as a skillset but need support to learn about it. This highlights the opportunity for employers to play a pivotal role in AI education for logistics and warehouse frontline staff. 

This survey was conducted online within the United States by market-research consultancy Researchscape on behalf of Kahoot! from September 28 to October 10, 2023. A total of 1,626 frontline employees participated in the survey, which included both workers and managers who work full time in jobs in transportation (behind the wheel of a vehicle) distribution, and the storage of goods and materials.

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