While the term ‘nine to five’ tends to dominate the corporate spotlight, the reality is that an increasing number of workplaces are starting to adopt rotating rosters.
Backed with a host of benefits, rosters that think outside the nine-to-five timeframe can be a hugely effective way to boost organisational productivity.
If you’re flirting with the idea of introducing a rotating roster system, read on for our guide to what benefits the model could bring to your workplace.
Balancing skill sets
By staggering staff shifts, businesses can actively balance the skillsets of employees throughout their opening hours. Both experience and capacity can vary dramatically, which means rotating rosters are a bona fide way to ensure that performance remains high at all times.
From a performance perspective, the most valuable employees are the ones with the broadest skillsets.
For example, the opening and closing procedures for a café are markedly different. Employees opening the café need to prep food, grind beans, lay tables and set-up daily operations. In comparison, closing shift staff must clean, count cash and lock up.
A rotating roster exposes employees to all business operations, which makes them far more flexible, and valuable.
Under a rotating roster, managers enjoy far more flexibility when it comes to accommodating staff requests. Employees can choose shifts according to their individual needs, and request leave without shaking up the system.
Studies have shown that workplace flexibility helps to build staff morale, which ultimately translates to increased productivity, loyalty and general wellbeing.
When workplaces operate beyond a nine-to-five schedule, day shifts tend to be more coveted than their ‘after hours’ counterparts. On a rotating schedule, all employees are equally exposed to day shifts. This helps to establish a fair workplace, fuelled by positive employee relationships.
Training new employees is a big expense, and tends to be overseen by senior staff. A rotating roster allows training to be consolidated, as all new employees alternate shifts. This streamlines the training process, and ensures that operations aren’t disrupted during onboarding.
A shorter working week
Research has shown that three-day weekends are good for the soul. While nine-to-five working days force employees to put in five days a week, rotating rosters allow for longer shifts, over a shorter number of days. This unlocks access to the fabled three-day weekend, which is a major drawcard for employees.
Rotating shifts tend to be longer than the standard eight hours. This means that employees often think twice about bailing at the eleventh hour, as it translates to a smaller paycheck.
Attracting talent and minimising turnover
The concept of shift work is incredibly appealing to some workers, particularly those that value flexibility. Companies that restrict their staff to orthodox hours often lose out on top talent, or find themselves continually replacing staff.
For example, a juice bar may want to recruit young energetic staff, with university students fitting the bill perfectly. While it’s unlikely students will want to commit to set shifts, a rotating roster will be successful in attracting and retaining top talent.
Rotating schedules allow for longer shifts, which ultimately minimises the number of staff turnovers per day. This minimises the risk of miscommunications and mistakes, and keeps productivity consistently high.
Increased accountability and continuity
When a workplace limits itself to a Team A and Team B scenario, relationships can quickly become negative. The divisive environment can create a “pass the blame” attitude, which promotes laziness and inefficiency.
In contrast, rotating rosters create cohesive teams, encourage accountability and motivate crews to carry out comprehensive handovers.
Reduced shift adaptation time
Many shift workers testify that they prefer longer stints as they’re able to “get in the groove” and maintain peak productivity for longer.
All shifts see productivity drop as employees settle in and wind down, however the impact is markedly less for 12 hour shifts as the overall peak productivity margin is higher.
Rewarding high performance
Unlike conventional nine-to-five rosters, rotating shifts allow managers to reward employees for high performance. For example, stellar sales could translate to first pick of next month’s most coveted shifts.
Ultimately, the goal of any rostering strategy is to increase productivity. In the right context, a rotating roster will absolutely achieve this. Skill sets are balanced, employee morale is high and a host of other key factors all fall into line.
Together, these inevitably lead to an increase in organisational productivity, and a workplace that runs like clockwork.