Do you have shift workers at your business? In recent years, shift work has become more and more popular in various industries to keep up with the increase in demand for 24/7 business.

Now just because the industry has changed to demand more shift workers, that doesn’t mean employers are changing to optimize how their shift workers perform. People vary in the ways they cope with shift work depending on their age, schedule, health, and domestic responsibilities.

Some workers cope incredibly well with the shift work lifestyle, whilst others find it to be a little more challenging. This is why maintaining order when managing shift workers is essential.

In today’s article, we have a look at steps business owners and managers can take to ensure that shift workers are well looked after and as productive and efficient as they can be. Read on to find out more!

5Utilise A Timesheet App

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With so many workers clocking in and out throughout the day, keeping track of workers is sometimes a challenging task, adding pressure to another already busy day. This is why we highly recommend using a timesheet app to help manage your teams, which can be found through Deputy.

Maintaining order and ensuring that all your staff show up on time is essential and utilising an app to help with maintaining order is key to shift work success. Timesheet apps can assist you in keeping track of workers who are late, absent or doing too much overtime.

With the data collated you will then be able to take active measures against absenteeism or tardiness, ensuring that business runs as seamlessly as possible. It will also assist in highlighting who in your workforce is working very hard and showing potential for career progression.

4Provide Plenty of Breaks

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Shift work is hard on the system. This especially applies to those who are working night shifts consecutively. Human bodies are designed to follow the circadian rhythm – a natural pattern where we are programmed to sleep when it is dark and wake when it is light out.

Going against this rhythm puts a toll on the body which is why providing plenty of breaks for your shift workers is an absolute must, ensuring they are refreshed and bringing their best to their workable hours.

Breaks allow your employees to rest and recharge between shifts and allows them to stretch their legs, take a little rest and fuel their bodies with food and drink to sustain them throughout the shift. Employers who do not value the importance of ample breaks will see their team burn out, and a significant drop in morale from employees who can identify that their employers are not looking out for them.

3Watch For Signs of Sleep Deprivation

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A sleep-deprived employee is one who is going to end up being unproductive, irritable and unable to do their job. This is why it is so incredibly important that as a business owner or manager, you play close attention to your employees and watch for signs of sleep deprivation.

This may include poor performance, dozing off on the job, high levels of irritability, lapses in judgement and a higher rate of mistakes. It is important that you identify your sleep-deprived employees and ensure that they are getting enough rest time between shifts. You may even want to change their shift to a time that suits them more.

Whilst this may seem like a minor hassle, it is important that you ensure that employees are happy and healthy as it directly correlates to their performance and the overall success of your business. If you are placing team members on back to back shifts too regularly, this might be a sign that you need to introduce a new employee or two to share around the shifts.

2Keep Shift Schedules Predictable

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One of the key factors that contribute to maintaining order when managing shift workers is making sure that shifts are always kept predictable. Humans are creatures of habit, and once your employees get used to a routine, we highly recommend sticking to it.

You as an employer will gain nothing by keeping your employees guessing and rotating at a disorientating pace. Avoid any last-minute changes to shifts and ensure that shifts are predictable so that your employees can plan ahead and arrive at your workplace rested and ready to complete their work.

It is also important that you encourage your employees to avoid swapping shifts in order to maintain order and routine. If this is not always possible, establish a minimum notice of time that shifts are to be changed so that you and your team can account for this disruption.

1Make Shift Work Voluntary

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Last but not least, it is highly recommended that businesses makeshift work voluntarily. Some employees are just not suited to shift work, and forcing them to do so will result in disgruntled employees that are unhappy with their job and likely a dismal output. No one wins in this scenario.

Making shift work voluntary is a great way to ensure that you have the right people at the right time. A great way to encourage staff to volunteer is to entice them by paying premium rates for night shifts, as well as taking on their advice on how to optimize these unpopular shift times.

You might just find that your undesirable timeslots become hot new property. If your team knows that these shifts are voluntary and open to improvement, you will find that your workforce is much more engaged as they feel in control of the circumstances.

Conclusion

Focusing on the health and happiness of your shift workers is key to increasing productivity levels and overall business growth. Rather than seeing your shift workers as faceless resources, look at them as the key to assisting you with your business goals.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into how you can maintain order when managing shift workers. Good luck!

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