Customers are looking for instant gratification of their needs. Most of the time, your customers may be knocking on your virtual door at 3 am, or they might be located on the other side of the world. Some businesses are open longer than the traditional 9 to 5 hours, but your employees can’t work for 12 or 18 hours at a stretch. Either way, there is a need for more extended hours of service or even round-the-clock service. That’s where employee shift management comes in to save the world.

Shifts are becoming an increasingly popular way for many employees to work. Shift work is when employees work with a schedule that is outside the tradition 9 – 5 timings. Having shifts within your business is crucial to ensure you promptly cater to your customers and ensure that is no communication or service gaps.

But, how effective and essential is shift working? Moreover, how can managers cultivate shift management within the company without overcomplicating their schedules? Let’s dive in and see the importance of shifts and how you can implement an employee shift management system that works.

Shifts work for company growth

Employees are redefining the way they work. More workers are shifting to the mindset of working to accommodate the way they want to live- giving weightage to their healthy lifestyle, prioritizing travel, working remotely, and preferring to work at night, to name a few.

But, as an HR manager, it’s essential to recognize that these personal preferences may not align with the growth that your company has mapped out for the team and the business.

By setting up shift work at your company, you can cater to your employees’ different preferences while also sticking to your roadmap for the company’s growth. When your employees work in shifts, you can allow them to pick their hours, making them more productive. By setting their schedule, employees can have more control over how they go about their day, giving them the ability to maintain a work-life balance. With the freedom to pick their schedule, employees are much happier and productive.

In his book, “Managing the Professional Service Firm,” David Maister wrote that scheduling determines the economics of a job, the quality of the team, and the skill-building and motivation of professionals doing the work.

With a well-oiled shift management system, you can have time to individually work with your employees, align their objectives, and help them build their skills. Some businesses with a shift-based schedule have also noticed that with the right communication system, employees are better connected and have an excellent internal rapport.

employee shift management tool

Using shifts, you can also create a better and more fulfilling experience for your customers. If your business is in retail, working with shifts can ensure that your customers are greeted by an employee who is eager to serve them. If this is an online business, having shifts gives you the ability to cater to customers worldwide, at any time of the day.

For instance, the medical industry and the food services industry have extended hours, and a majority of the businesses in these niches implement shift working so that employees perform to the best of their ability within their active hours, serving their customers and patients well and avoiding burnout.

Successfully implementing employee shift management

The most important rule of thumb when implementing a shift system among your employees- or even modifying your existing shift management- is to set up a shift management software built to ensure that your employees have no trouble managing their shifts. With AttendanceBot, shift management has never been easier.

According to ConnectTeam, the revenue per employee doubles the industry average with scheduling automation.

Here’s what you can do to make the most of this automation tool:

  1. Plan shifts in advance with a highly visual dashboard.
  2. Keep track of employee check-in and absentee during these shifts, built into your work communication tool.
  3. Reassign shifts without any hassle.
  4. Set up automated reminders so that employees can be notified before their shift starts.
  5. Track employee time quickly with auto-generated powerful timesheets based on these shifts.

You can read more about this shift management software and learn how you can integrate it into your company’s Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Along with a powerful shift management software, you can also follow these tips to ensure your employees are satisfied with their shifts:

1. Take a monthly stock of a few crucial details before planning out the shifts

Find out when your employees would like to take their leaves, which employees will be open to working nights or on weekends. Ensure that employees give an advanced notice about their preferential leaves such as family commitments, religious holidays or vacations to plan out the shifts better.

2. Ask employees to punch in and out for attendance management

Use AttendanceBot and integrate it into your communication tool to allow workers to log in their work hours. The bot compiles these details for you to make it easier to keep track of any delay or leaves.

3. Keep shift hours for each employee consistent. For instance, if one of your employees’ works from 9 pm to 5 am, it’s always better to keep the same work hours for them instead of changing it every few weeks. This consistency allows them to build a predictable schedule for them personally.

4. Create a backup plan for unexpected sick days

You can’t predict when your employees would fall ill or take an unexpected day off, but you can plan for a replacement in case this comes up. Compile a plan B, with employees who may be willing to work extra hours and come in as backups and note down what timings they’ll be available. This way, when an employee takes an unexpected leave, you don’t need to scramble around for the replacement.

taking a sick day

5. Keep shifts shorter so that employees aren’t tired out quickly

This is especially important for night and weekend workers who may have difficulty working for long hours. Instead, you can break their work timings into two shifts.

6. Have weekly or fortnightly check-ins with your shift workers

With a routine check-in, you can ensure that your employees aren’t burnt out, sleep deprived or struggling in any way. By taking stock of how they are performing, you can ensure that your employees are healthy. You can ensure that they don’t get to the point of burnout.

7. Rotate shifts clockwise to allow employees to ease into changing shifts 

Adjusting to changing shifts can be difficult. You need to reset your entire routine. That’s why it is important to give your team some time to settle in. Instead of changing shifts immediately, rotate them slowly. For instance, change day shifts to afternoons and afternoons to nights and not day to night right away.

night shift

8. Keep your workplace shift-friendly

Ensure you have stocked up on coffee and snacks, even for your employees who are working late at night. Keep the environment cool and brightly lit so that your employees don’t have trouble staying up.

9. Offer more incentives based on their performance

Shift work is tough and your employees have to reschedule how they live for this work routine. By setting up incentives, you can motivate these employees to perform better and bring in higher results. You can even provide benefits, like food allowances or travel reimbursements. This only goes to show that you care and ensure that your employee doesn’t have to worry.

By setting up these efforts, you get more efficient with employee shift management. But more importantly, you’re able to ensure your team is working up to its potential. Employee shift management is complex but it can get easy with a robust shift management software. With a well set-up system to manage employees, their schedules, and their needs, you can simplify shifts at your workplace. And at the same time, make sure that your business thrives.

What’s the one thing you follow at your company to ensure everyone follows the growth roadmap closely? We’d love learning it from you.

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