One of the most challenging aspects of working in a 24-hour operation is managing shift changes. Not only is it difficult to maintain continuity of care when staff members are constantly coming and going, but fatigue can also be a major issue. To ensure that shift changes go smoothly, it is important to have a well-organized plan in place. First, a brief handover report should be completed, detailing the status of each employee. In addition, any unfinished tasks should be clearly documented so that the incoming shift can pick up where the previous one left off. By following these simple steps, you can help to ensure a seamless transition between shifts.
Handover and line up of shift crew is an important process that needs to be carefully planned. In our last two blogs, we discussed the ins and outs of Effective handovers with a focus on what you should know before taking over for another person or group at work. This time around let's talk about how best to prepare yourself by practicing runs through each step of Switching from one Shift to the Other!
How to effectively Switch Shifts
The switching shift element comes in place when an organization has crews/work groups running shifts less than 7 days a week. In most cases, this involves crews changing from day to night shifts on their rotational schedule without extended days off; usually, there are at least 24 hours before a crew coming off a day shift must start working the night shift. The objective here is to ensure this crew shift switch is done effectively and a worker is taking steps to ease the change of their body clock from day work to night work. This body clock change process encompasses building a worker profile establishing their sleep cycle as well as preferred eating and resting cycles then recommended short interval changes can be recommended for each individual worker to effectively adjust to switching shifts from day to night.
There are a few best practices to follow when executing a shift switch. First, it's important to give your employees as much notice as possible. This will allow them to plan their lives around the new schedule and make any necessary arrangements for childcare or other commitments. Second, be sure to clearly communicate the reasons for the change. Whether it's due to an increase in customer demand or a change in the company's overall needs, your employees will appreciate knowing why the switch is being made. Finally, be flexible with your employees' schedules. If possible, allow them to choose which shifts they would like to work, and make accommodations for those who have difficulty switching to the new schedule. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your shift switch goes smoothly and that your employees remain productive and satisfied.
Best Practices when executing a Shift Switch
It is easier to switch from day to night shift than the other way around. However, if one must then it becomes essential to utilize the minimum 24 hours which means the last night shift would need to be ending earlier than usual time. This can be achieved with a relief crew
Individual Profiles for each worker can be managed through an app such as “Sleep Shift” or on a spreadsheet solution such as Excel or Google Sheets.
The first shift after the switch may be a good shift to catch up on safety or workplace organization-related items; anything which is different from regular work to discourage autopilot behavior.
Whether you're in the office or client location, there are some important steps to take before your next switch shift. The first is analyzing and improving current processes so they work better for everyone involved! We can help with this exercise as well because our goal isn't just making changes - it's also brainstorming different solutions suited specifically to what works best at your company. If interested in exploring more? Contact the A+I team today!"