Businesses that operate 24/7 typically use 12-hour shifts to have full coverage around the clock. While this is a good way to make sure someone is scheduled for work every hour, it does not adequately resolve one issue: how to cover staffing shortfalls and absences.
With open 8-hour shifts, supervisors have a few easier options for covering open shifts:
- Have someone work two 8-hour shifts back-to-back
- Have someone stay over for an additional four hours
- Have someone come in four hours early before beginning their 8-hour shift
Either one of these scenarios makes it fairly simple to ensure the open shift is covered. The employee is already at work or plans to come in later.
Challenges of 12 Hour Shift Schedule
A 12 hour shift schedule is too long for the scenarios above when someone is absent or resigns. Keeping an employee for a second shift means he or she would work 24 hours. This is not feasible in any situation.
Even if a supervisor adds a split shift, the employee would work 18 hours straight. This is still too long for one work day.
One option to resolve the staffing shortfall is to find an employee who is not scheduled to work that day. However, this is not always as simple as it sounds. If this is a regular off day, a supervisor may not be able to reach the employee.
Trying to reach an available employee could become a full-time job for the supervisor. Few employees are willing to sacrifice their day off, even if it is for overtime pay.
Spending too much time trying to fill a 12-hour shift is not an effective use of a supervisor’s time. While they are trying to fill vacancies, their other duties – like supervising – are neglected.
Shift Software for Easy Scheduling
Software that accommodates 24/7 operations helps a supervisor manage a 12 hour shift schedule is a good solution for staffing shortfalls. Management tools in this type of program make it easy to plan based on the number of employees.
Additionally, shift software enables supervisors to recognize upcoming vacations. They are also aware of resignations that decreases their staffing levels. With such data, they can recruit for more workers before facing the possibility of an uncovered shift.
Features and Benefits for Employees
The attraction of shift software for employees goes beyond knowing when they must report for work. A self-service feature allows employees to view their own schedule to determine their availability.
Whenever they need to plan family vacations or make doctor appointment, employees can see what is available before submitting a time-off request.
Employees enjoy several significant benefits to utilizing shift software:
- Online access to schedule information
- Easy way to submit time-off or shift swap requests
- Receive fast response to those requests from supervisor
- More involvement in the scheduling process
Complaints of not being able to find someone to cover their shift is no longer an issue. When there is a scheduling shortfall, employees receive an email or text alert about the overtime opportunity.
This way, if the open schedule falls on their day off, the supervisor will not have to wait until a few hours before the shift begins to find an employee who is willing to come in. Instead, employees have time to rearrange their personal schedule in advance of that day.
Features and Benefits for Supervisors
Features of software ensures supervisors keep the company’s 12 hour shift schedule filled each day. Three significant benefits offer an efficient process for scheduling:
- Identify gaps and fill open shifts to ensure adequate coverage
- Save time so supervisors can complete other tasks
- Improve communication with employees by sending electronic schedule alerts
Using a feature-rich software streamlines the task of keeping schedules filled. In one program, supervisors can access all the information they need to manage employees. They can view job skills, seniority, overtime utilization and open positions.
If no one volunteer after sending out notification of an open shift, supervisors can select an employee by using various selection criteria. This feature is helpful when filling absences on short notice. An employee is identified and notified with a few clicks.
Benefits for the Company
Having enough coverage for work shifts is critical to meeting the company’s productivity requirements. Scheduling software plays a key role in making sure sufficient employee coverage exists to meet this business goal.
Supervisors receive advance alerts when there is an open shift. In turn, they can notify employees of the opening. The company benefits further when supervisors spend less time on this important task.
Less time spent on filling open shifts gives supervisors more time to work on equally important responsibilities. Employees do not become burned out from working too many hours beyond their regular schedule.
With supervisors and employees using their time more efficiently, the result is an entire workforce that is more productive.