The COVID-19 pandemic upended everything we thought we knew about the world of work. As workplaces reopen, many employers are discovering that the old way of doing things no longer applies. An easy step you can take to boost employee morale and encourage new candidates to apply, is to offer flexible scheduling. Though this hasn’t traditionally been the norm in manufacturing, it’s actually something you can implement with minimal effort. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of Flexible Scheduling
Flexible scheduling can be a win-win for both workers and employers. Advantages include:
- Employee engagement: When workers feel that they’re being treated as individuals, they tend to feel more engaged. Whether someone is a night owl or a single parent, there are plenty of reasons for them to prefer a more flexible schedule.
- Increased productivity: Manufacturing is hard work, and employees who feel their best are able to do their best. Working with your team members’ schedules lets you get maximum productivity from them.
- Worker retention: An unprecedented number of people are considering changing jobs in the wake of the pandemic, and there is no shortage of positions for them. Keeping your existing staff on board means responding to their needs. Retention becomes a much larger and important issue for companies that have a large number of employees or have substantial onsite programs or workforce solutions. Every person you retain is one less employee that you have to recruit, train, and onboard.
- Candidate recruitment: Today’s job seekers can afford to be picky, so you’ll need to work hard to attract top-tier candidates. Offering flexibility is an easy way to differentiate your company from the crowd.
How to Implement Flexible Scheduling
The best way to implement flexible scheduling is simply to ask people when they prefer to work. Start by polling your existing workforce, and then create new shift times based on their feedback. It might be as simple as starting and ending a shift an hour earlier or creating a new shift that overlaps your existing shift times.
When you interview new candidates, ask them when they prefer to work and strive to place them in their preferred shifts. Be open to adjusting shift times as needed.
The other piece of flexible scheduling is time off. Create a system for workers to trade shifts with each other, and find ways to let employees make up hours that they need to take off for personal reasons.
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