If your business offers a twenty-four hour service or you are manufacturing around the clock then you may have some type of shift rotation system in operation. The usual way this works is that staff will rotate from one shift to another. Some business will operate long days of 12 hour shifts while others will have shift rotation involving three eight hour shift. You may have staff shift rotation thorough all of these different work periods or you may have one shift that is permanently staffed with the same team.
Many shift rotation systems require staff members to do a period on each of the different shifts. This is usually appropriate when the night shift is unpopular; at least this way everyone takes their turn. Another benefit of this type of shift rotation is that it means that there is much more a feeling of teamwork among all the work force and people get a much clearer idea of the workings of the company.
Some businesses exclude the night shift from shift rotation and instead have a permanent night staff team who only do this shift. This benefit with this is that there will be continuity and it also means less complaints from those staff who hate going on nights. The drawback with excluding the night staff from shift rotation is that they can feel excluded from the rest of the organisation. There may be less management members on a night shift and this too can be problematic in that bad practices develop. Another problem is staff training; if most courses occur during the day then the permanent night staff can be left out.
When dealing with shift rotation it is important to consider the hours in a shift. The whole twenty four hours can be covered with two twelve hour shifts. This can be popular with staff because it means that they will end up with more days off. The problem with this system is that it can be really tiring for the staff and their maybe problems of reduced productivity because of this. The other option is to have three eight hour shifts, and this form of shift rotation is probably the one that is still most popular.
Deciding on the best form of shift rotation for your business can be a tough choice; it is often a good idea to allow the staff to have some say in what way they would like to approach it. This way the staff will find that they own the system rather than having a certain shift rotation just thrust on them. It probably will not be possible to please everyone with any type of shift rotation but a general consensus can be reached. Some businesses will have less flexibility when it comes to deciding on the form of rotation and so it may be necessary to assign people purely on the basis of skill mix and availability. Another possibility is to put staff into teams so that when they rotate the whole team rotates.
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