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How much overtime does each employee do?
Are the hours evenly distributed amongst everyone? In many companies most of the overtime falls on 20% of the workers causing them to be overly stressed and tired. The people who are not receiving the same opportunity for income can become resentful.
Is overtime being scheduled because of staff shortages?
When management fails to schedule enough staff, the result is employees have to work more shifts or work overtime. A good scheduler gets a feel for how many people will not come to work for unscheduled absences. He or she will also hire enough people and train them in time to fill openings as they come up. Mandated hours are never welcome. They cause resentment and loss of respect for the organization.
Is overtime being scheduled to fill new production needs?
There have been studies that show that productivity levels do not increase as hours increase after a certain level. You can only get so much out of a person before they slow down. Besides that, the employer should weigh the benefit of increased revenue to the hidden cost of sluggish, sleep-deprived, error prone shift workers. Is a 24 hour operation really profitable?
Are shifts designed with employees in mind?
Not all shifts work for every culture, location, and lifestyles. Management should listen to what their employees value in terms of hours and days off. For instance, some people might need to be home more in the summer because their children are.
Are night shift workers supported by administration the same way that day shift workers are?
Do they have anyone from human resources, payroll, and upper management available to them at night? It is unfair to expect a night worker to lose daytime sleep hours to come in to see administration.
Is your company addressing sleep deprivation problems?
A business that uses night shifts should also be educating their employees about how to stay healthy. This is for the safety of the employee and for a safe workplace. Things that can cause sleep issues such as insomnia are rapidly changing shifts, consecutive shifts, and excessively long shifts. Symptoms such as nodding off, poor judgement, greater risk taking behavior, slower coordination, poor memory and focus, and cloudy thinking can be very dangerous. Just one error can be a serious event for a business. Think about air traffic controllers and operators of nuclear plants.
A management system in which the health of the employee is a priority reduces accidents on the job and costs to the employer. Additionally, employees who are well rested show up to work more often, produce more and stay with the company longer. With this in mind, some places allow and encourage short naps.
How to Plan Great Shifts
In order to find what is best for a company and its workers, there must be communication. Employees ultimately want to be involved in solving problems. After all, what affects the company, affects them. There has to be a work-life balance. While it may seem better to take a hard approach to employee staffing, developing a management system that considers an employee’s well-being benefits the business in many ways.