Shift work is notoriously difficult. Unusual sleep schedules and the lifestyle changes required from workers who pull the “graveyard” shift demand a great deal from your employees. For that reason alone it can be very difficult to maintain your second and third shift workers. Rather than struggling with high rates of employee turnover and near-constant recruitment, here are a few ways you can improve your employee retention around the clock.
Communication is Key
Good communication is a cornerstone of a successful company. Make sure you communicate with your late shift workers as well as you do with the first shift. A common reason for high turnover is poor communication. Take a varied work schedule into account when reaching out to individuals or as a group. Be mindful of asking for their time outside of their regular working hours because that time is very valuable to them.
Show Your Appreciation
Second and third shift workers can often feel lost or forgotten by corporate leadership. For that reason alone, make an effort to show your appreciation for the work they do. Make sure they know how much they are valued by the company and they are not looked on as secondary employees. Their work is critical to your success. Make sure they know how much their efforts matter.
Training is Always Valuable
If providing your first shift workers with training seems reasonable and a valuable investment in their growth within your company, why wouldn’t you also provide such opportunities for later shift workers? The second and third shift should not be considered a gauntlet your employees need to master before gaining access to the benefits of the first shift. You need quality workers doing the job around the clock. Make sure they all have the resources they need to meet your expectations on the job.
Consider Your Incentives
Take a moment to look at how you are incentivizing your employees to work the late shift. Are you offering competitive pay for their effort? How are you supporting their need for a good work-life balance? Is the work environment as good in the second or third shift as it is in the first? Incentives can take many different forms like events or bonuses. Even just a box of donuts and coffee brought in will leave your employees with a good impression of their day. However, make sure your late-shift workers aren’t getting the short end of the stick. Remember to provide access to incentives during their shifts as well as during yours.
The bottom line is try to imagine working for your company from their perspective. Are they feeling under-valued? Improperly trained? Overwhelmed? Or just ignored? These are all things that are easily addressed, and taking their needs into account will ensure your retention rates are strong and you are not left spinning your wheels on your recruitment efforts.
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