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Training Glossary how.fm

What to Expect:

In this glossary, we break down the most commonly used terms related to warehouse workers’ training and management in the blue-collar industry. Here, you can overcome the technical jargon and dig deep into what it means to go lean, create a training module based on gamification, and more. Learn more on how to have a productive and thriving workforce with the attached resources.

1. Blue Collar Worker

The blue-collar industry comprises people performing manual labor. A blue-collar worker may be an employee in a manufacturing or processing facility or warehouse workers in logistics. Physical work such as farming, landscaping, construction, and waste removal are also part of this industry. 

Though often blue-collar workers are confused with unskilled laborers, they are in fact some of the most skilled manual workers, including certified electricians and plumbers.

See: The Future Is Blue

2. Continual improvement process

A continual improvement process, also often called a continuous improvement process, is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. 

In the context of the Lean methodology, continuous improvement seeks to improve every process in your company by focusing on enhancing the activities that generate the most value for your customer while removing as many waste activities as possible.

See: Implementing Lean Techniques in Your Warehouse

3.. Digital Training for Warehouse Workers

Digital Training refers to the use of digital tools to train your employees in health and safety, picking and packing, storing techniques, and more. 

In modern-day warehouses, digital training solutions are fast replacing the traditional training methods are they are proven to increase productivity and lower labor costs.  

To learn more about Digital Training Solutions, contact us

See: Social Sustainability in Warehouses – How to Prevent High Fluctuation

4. Elastic Logistics

In logistics and supply chain management, Elastic Logistics is an agile model that allows companies to expand and contract capabilities with the demands of the consumers or market.  

It’s the agility to handle sharply increased and decreased needs in production, warehousing, and shipping while controlling costs, efficiency, visibility, and customer experience.

See: 15 Emerging Logistics and Supply Chain Trends in 2021

5. Employee Turnover

Employee turnover, or employee turnover rate, is the measurement of the number of employees who leave an organization during a specified time period, typically one year.

See: The True Cost of High Employee Turnover

6. Gamification

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. In the blue-collar industry, gamification can be used to train warehouse workers by using or applying the characteristics of game elements, e.g. quizzes and picking and packing games.

Gamification offers employees stimulating skills practice with real-time feedback that inspires and guides them towards improved performance.

See: 15 Emerging Logistics and Supply Chain Trends in 2021

7. Gemba Walk

“Gemba” is a Japanese word meaning “the real place”. In lean management, “Gemba” is wherever your team’s work is happening. With blue-collar industry, it means the warehouse floor. Managers and Leaders should invest time in seeing the warehouse operations for themselves. Moreover, they should listen to the workers’ ideas and explanations.

See: Lean Warehousing to Stay Competitive in the Industry 4.0 Era

8. ISO 45001 Certification

ISO 45001 is the international standard for occupational health and safety. Organizations must be proactive in managing all forms of risk, especially occupational health and safety. ISO 45001 provides safe practice guidelines for workers, contractors, and site visitors.

The certification allows your warehouse or logistics firms to compete at the highest international level

See: Occupational Health and Safety – Warehouse safety in a Modern Era

9. Last Mile Delivery

In a product’s journey from warehouse shelf to customer doorstep, the “last mile” of delivery is the final step of the process — the point at which the package finally arrives at the buyer’s door.

Last-mile delivery costs account for more than half of companies’ overall logistics costs. So companies are stepping up with innovative technology like temperature-controlled smart lockers and drone delivery to combat the cost. 

See: 15 Emerging Logistics and Supply Chain Trends in 2021

10. Lean Logistics

Being lean is simply a way to recognize and eliminate wasteful activities from the supply chain. In the logistics sector, the goal of being lean is to increase product flow and speed. 

Lean Logistics is all about improving operations at all levels and optimizing the supply chain by reducing waste, which is important for supply chain control.

See: Lean Warehousing to Stay Competitive in the Industry 4.0 Era

11. Lean Warehousing

Similar to Lean Logistics, the foundation of lean warehousing is lean culture and lean processes. A lean warehouse is focused on constant improvement. Lean warehousing means saving time, money, space, and energy at every point in the warehouse’s operations

See: Lean Warehousing to Stay Competitive in the Industry 4.0 Era

12. Occupational Health and Safety 

Occupational safety and health, also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety, occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of workers at an occupation. 

OHS involves providing adequate health and safety training to your warehouse workers in their native language. It also means equipping your workforce with the necessary tools and equipment to perform their jobs safely.

See: Occupational Health and Safety – Warehouse safety in a Modern Era

Download how.fm’s latest Digital Health and Safety Training Whitepaper here

13. Peter Principle

Peter principle is an observation about a commonly seen pattern in hierarchical corporate cultures in which employees are promoted based on current performance rather than an aptitude for the roles they are being considered for. 

In blue-collar industries, promoting your best performing warehouse worker to the role of a manager (if they aren’t fit for that role) could mean that you lost a good worker and don’t have a competent manager. 

Thus, as a warehouse manager or HR personnel, you need to be careful to not fall for the Peter Principle. 

See: 6 Common Challenges in Warehouse Worker Training in Logistics

14. Reverse Logistics

In warehousing, reverse logistics is the process of moving goods from their typical final destination for the purpose of capturing value, or proper disposal. Essentially, it is the opposite of the standard supply chain. 

See: The Secrets to Successful Reverse Logistics Management for Your Warehouse

15. Standardized Operating Procedure or SOPs

In the blue-collar industry, a standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.


See: 6 Tips To Write Efficient SOPs

16. Simplified Technical English or STE

Developed in the 1980s, Simplified Technical English refers to a controlled language with the aim to make technical matters understandable to second-language speakers of English. 

In logistics and other blue-collar sectors, STE is used to write work instructions for warehouse workers. As the warehouse workforce is comprised of people from different nationalities, using unambiguous words and simple sentences is recommended to help your workers understand the work instructions. 

See: Simplified Technical English – A Guide to Write Effective Work Instructions

17. Social Sustainability

In Logistics, social sustainability refers to proactively identifying and managing the business impacts on employees, workers in the value chain, customers, and local communities. 

Maintaining social sustainability means creating an inclusive, safe, and accepting work environment within your organization or warehouse. It also means hiring, training, and developing the workforce to ensure lower fluctuations and ergo, higher productivity. 

See: Social Sustainability in Warehouses – How to Prevent High Fluctuation

18. Talent Shortage

In the blue-collar industry, Talent Shortage simply refers to the lack of skilled warehouse workers and other essential personnel. Talent shortages can be a result of employers’ inability to attract and retain employees in an organization or not paying attention to the non-monetary benefits like training and development.

See: How To Get More Female Workers to Overcome Talent Shortage

19. Training Within Industry or TWI


Training Within Industry (TWI) is a dynamic and proven method of hands-on training, learning, and coaching for supervisors, team leaders, and workers. TWI was introduced in 1940 by the United States Department of War and operated within the War Manpower Commission until 1945.

See: Training Within Industry

20. Visual Work Instructions

In logistics, Visual Work instructions (VWIs) work as a tool that transfers knowledge of standard work practices through the use of visual aids. VWIs use images, videos, and similar graphics with minimal text (see: Simplified Technical English) to show the workers what the end product looks like and what steps they need to complete it. 

VWIs are particularly useful in training the warehousing workers in tasks related to packing, storing, picking, and more. 

See: Simplified Technical English – A Guide to Write Effective Work Instructions

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