Staying Connected with Off-Hours Employees

Linda Dulye's picture
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Night timeFor decades, many businesses, particularly those in manufacturing, keep up with customer demand by operating 24 hours a day. The organization benefits by maximizing efficiencies and remaining competitive, while employees see a differential in their pay as incentive for working off hours.

If you manage employees that work overnight shifts or on weekends, are you providing them with the same level of communication that the 8-to-5'ers receive?

In our experience, workers on the graveyard shift can, despite leaders' best efforts, feel out of the loop and believe they are victims of an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.

Here are three tips for keeping your off-hours employees in the loop:

  • Take your turn. Working late afternoon shifts or pulling weekend duty is no easy life. Employees who do this give up some of the conveniences that day-shift workers take for granted. Show support for your off-hours team by working these shifts once a month. Visit the break room, walk around the plant floor and touch base with employees and let them know you appreciate their working a nontraditional shift.
  • Make town halls more inclusive. The next time you conduct an all-hands meeting for your regular-shift employees, schedule one for the other shifts too. Doing so will demonstrate to all employees that the organization is bigger than those that work the day shift.
  • Drop in to recognize or reward employees. Some of the best rewards come when they are unexpected. If you have a group of employees working a long stretch of hours or putting in heavy-duty overtime, reward them by stopping by with pizza or catering in from a local restaurant. The restaurants you visit around noon likely aren't open at 2 a.m., so let night owls enjoy some good eats as a token of your appreciation.

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For more insights on 2-way communications, read the latest issue of our newsletter, Spectator-Free Workplace.

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