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Managing Employee Shifts in the Manufacturing Sector

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Employees who work in shifts make up an essential part of manufacturing companies and yet are often ignored when it comes to investment and development opportunities. Moreover, managing, retaining, and communicating with them all can be a challenge at times for an HR management team. Wishing to succeed, employee scheduling must be a key area of focus within the HR management process.

Having an irregular work schedule can make it difficult to plan in advance for leaves. Therefore, manufacturing companies should invest in an advanced shift scheduling platform which provides employees flexibility of their work schedules. Doing so can help HR to attract and retain top talent.

Lack of repetitive shift patterns, short notice of scheduled work hours, or last-minute shift changes can all negatively impact hourly employees. The implications of not having a set work schedule can make work-life unpredictable. The failure to plan work around one’s personal life leaves employees feeling stressed, unhappy, and less likely to remain at their job.

So, how to manage hourly employees effectively?

Generally, employees should get their shift schedules months in advance. However, employers often are unable to forecast the output levels required that far ahead, which makes it difficult to predict how much labor will be required.

There should be a balance of house which meets both the needs of the employees and the company. A recent study found that just two weeks notice is more than sufficient time for shift employees to manage their personal lives and commitments around work.

Two weeks is also enough for employers to know what the workload should look like, allowing the timescale to be a fair balance for both sides.

Are ‘shift’ employees missing more?

For many companies, investing in business means spending money on equipment, machinery, or processes to enhance operational efficiency and productivity.

However, technology that helps your staff should never be overlooked, as it can also increase employee satisfaction, retention, and output.

One operational hurdle many manufacturing companies face is communication, not only with shift scheduling but with sharing general information such as company updates or procedural changes.

It’s also difficult for shift employees to communicate in real-time with HR teams, as they are often working at different times or at various remote locations.

Traditional methods of notice boards and announcements are no longer effective enough as it’s hard to gauge who has read the messages. It is crucial to invest in solutions which address both operational communication and shift scheduling. These solutions must be easy for employees to access, which will lead to higher adoption rates.

There is a solution

An advanced HR management system helps businesses migrate key operational information such as shift schedules from paper into an easy-to-access digital hub.

Using a digital platform to share scheduling information provides employees with improved access to their scheduled shifts and helps prevent communication issues.

The solution enables employees to instantly request schedule changes from management, easily swap shifts, plus pick or drop shifts when needed.

What’s more, an intuitively designed HR mobile application means that employees can easily use the app quickly, which drives adoption. As a result, employees are empowered with quick access and control to shift schedules, which support a more harmonious work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Quick and easy shift swapping

Shift swapping is a challenge for both management and employees. With an online shift scheduling system shift swapping can be done quick easy on a mobile application which provides better visibility for management and employees to track shift changes in advance from anywhere, at any time.

This in turn, reduces the workload on the HR department while ensuring the company’s production line is sufficiently staffed and not over booked.

For many manufacturing companies, the uneven nature of production means there will be times when it requires to be scaled up or down in order to meet demand. An online platform makes the process more seamless as HR teams can upload extra shifts and communicate their availability to staff through the mobile application.

Bottom Line

Employee satisfaction and retention rates can be improved significantly with an online HR system that offers an easy employee scheduling tool with access to shift information 24/7. Plus, an instant way to connect with management on any adjustments. Employers can see a happier and more productive staff and reduced absenteeism with improved shift communication, which critically helps the bottom line. An advanced mobile HR app helps improve operations and engagement for manufacturing companies with a high percentage of hourly or shift employees.

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