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Creating a Shift Pattern Creating a brand new manning operation, budgeting for it, and presenting it to management, is a rare event. We have prepared this page to illustrate how to start. It isn't hard to do, and the example given is based on an actual client's request. There are four steps to creating a shift pattern. Step one is correctly assessing the number of shift workers required to cover your workload. Step two is scheduling the shifts in a shift pattern. Step three is about coving for absences so that your workload will be covered no matter what. Step four is about implementing your solutions. If you would like us to help you create a shift pattern please email us at alec@visualrota.co.uk or call us on 01636 816466.
Training If you would like to learn how to create a shift pattern, we run day courses that take you right through the process, from concept to implementation.   Creating the perfect shift pattern,   (1 day course) CDT01  Holiday management, (1 day course) CDT02  Absence Survival, (1 day course) CDT03,   Change Management Plan, (1 day course) CDT04
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Staffing Specification Example Create a staff schedule for a call centre manned by 2 people 24/7 with an additional 8-hour day shift Mon-Fri. The shifts must all be 8-hours . This means that the workload will be 376 hours per week or 19,605 hours per year.
Step One: Number of Operators The first step is to work out the number of staff required. Generally for one person on at all times for 24/7 you will require 5 people. This value will vary dependant upon; breaks, contractual hours, handovers, absence rates, holiday management etc. In this example the operation will require approximately 11 people. For a more accurate assessment our book (e-book) Calculating How Many Staff Do You Need provides detailed examples.
Step Two: The Shift Pattern Next you need to create the shifts. The shift length is an important consideration, if it's too long your staff can become fatigued, if it's too short there will not be the incentive to come into work. In this example all shifts are 8-hours. There is the option to create a mixture of 8 and 12- hour shifts or any other combination. Longer shift lengths are advisable (if fatigue is not an issue), as it limits the number of commutes and maximises time off. Once you choose which shifts to go for, you then select the base pattern. This pattern should incorporate the working requirements of the staff, e.g. whole weekends off, holidays included, maximum of 5 consecutive shifts, etc. Our website shiftpatterns.com offers a variety of shift patterns starting from £1 per shift schedule. Introducing any change in a company can be fraught with difficulties. So it is a good idea to make the new shift arrangement more attractive to your workers than their current shift operation. We offer a ‘change consultancy’ service, whereby we introduce and advise a best fit shift schedule and take you through the implementation. Or you can teach yourself from our videos at Training videos
Step Three: Holidays and Absence Holidays will make up most of your problems with shift patterns. A "holidays included shift pattern" will eliminate almost all these. Alternatively, a holiday management plan will be required. A holiday management plan is a set of rules under which a worker can take their holiday without effecting the operation. Absences will be the next biggest problem. In the UK the average sickness rate for a public sector worker is 2.6% and 1.6% for a private sector worker. For more information on sickness rates and absences please see our blog or book at Books.
Step Four: Consultation and Implementation The first step to implementing this change is to ensure that the shift pattern matches any legal constraints and will be acceptable to both the company and employees. Consulting with them through one-on-one discussions, presentations and questionnaires is a good way to find out their view and concerns and engage them in the change process. We offer a ‘change consultancy’ service, whereby we introduce and advise a best fit shift schedule and take you through the implementation.
Example Solution Below is an example of a shift pattern using "Holidays Included" within the shift pattern and Banked Hours to cover for sickness. This is an 11 week rotating shift pattern using the 7on-2off as a base, which matched the example workload. In this example we extended the night shift to 10 hours and reduced the late shift to 6 hours. So it makes for a better work-life balance.