Tools for Round-the-clock Staffing

Whenasking employees to burn the midnight oil, you’ll get better results if you:

  • Openthe lines of communication. Schedule meetings close to shift changes and use bulletinboards and e-mail to keep your people connected. Don’t let workers on the overnightshift begin to think they’re second-class citizens.
  • Safetyconsiderations come first, but whenever possible, encourage your workers to nap. A short,20-minute nap midway through a shift can have a significant restorative effect that willkeep employees alert through the morning hours.
  • Warnemployees about the dangers of caffeine abuse. Coffee has a half-life of seven hours andthe caffeine can stay in your system a full 24 hours. Tell your employees that afterroughly two cups, they’re getting no additional boost, just jagged nerves and fitfulsleep when they finally do get home.
  • Createa stimulating work environment. Bright lighting, a moderate level of noise (radios, musicand so on), and even certain aromas (peppermint, rosemary, lemon) stimulate the senses andkeep employees alert.
  • Provide24-hour cafeterias and workout facilities. Both services can be morale builders, and, likea nap, a 20-minute aerobic workout can have a marked restorative effect on alertness.

Workforce,September 2000, Vol. 79, No. 9, p. 40 — Subscribe now!