Has the summer weather brought with it sluggish and cranky employees? One Florida warehouse owner has the solution: Cool off!
“We live in the hot, humid south. And for 25 years I’ve been searching for something to provide a level of comfort for my employees to keep them from leaving us in the summertime and going to an environment that is more pleasant to work in,” says Walter Spence Jr., president and owner of Tri-States Automotive Warehouse, a replacement parts distributor.
After implementing a warehouse cooling system, Spence says the change in employee attitudes, performance and turnover is unmistakable.
“They are more contented. The turnover is not nearly as severe as it once was, at times 50 percent in the summer months,” he says of his Marianna, Fla.-based workers. “And we feel they are more productive, they cope better with the environment and don’t have to worry about dehydration.”
Three summers ago, Spence installed a Coenco System — an air destratification technology geared to control HVAC temperatures in large, open facilities like sports arenas and manufacturing plants.
After seeing the system’s effects on a colleague’s warehouse and his employees in Little Rock, Ark., Spence incorporated it into his own 100,000-square-foot facility.
“It provides relief from the hot summer days,” says Spence, whose company distributes replacement parts to Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
And because the specific Coenco system is more energy and cost efficient than air conditioning alone, Spence takes the company’s monthly savings and applies it to employee profit sharing.
But Spence says maintaining a cool warehouse is not always a priority across the country. “Many owners either put in extra fans or extra Gatorade. But anyone who operates a large facility knows that happy workers are productive workers,” he says. “As we gear up for another summer season, I'm glad to know that our workers will keep their cool because our building is keeping its cool."