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Staff Questions When you bring in a new shift pattern the staff are going to have lots of questions about how the shift pattern will operate. Whenever you bring in a change, there will be resistance, and fear. It's a new way of working, so people will want to know how it will effect them. The best way of tackling these questions is to anticipate them and have your answers ready. This reassures the staff because they know you have thought about the impact this will have on them and come up with solutions to their problems before they even knew there was a problem. It also means that you are prepared, if you know what questions they are going to ask then you can give them the answers there and then. There is no hesitation, and they can't use them as stalling techniques or to make you question your plans. We have helped hundreds of companies bring in new shift patterns. So we have all the questions the staff will ask. We help our clients come up with the top questions which are relevant to the situation and help them formulate the answers. We also help them create presentations addressing the staff's fears on how the new operation will run and what it will mean for them. Questions "Like how many weekends will I be working?" and "How will we book a holiday?" can be easily anticipated and answered as part of a presentation. Other questions which are unique to the individual can be emotional and require a different response. “I am a carer and how will this new shift pattern affect me?” This sort of question is open ended. You couldn't tackle it in an open session because it would take too long and is personal to the individual. We discuss all of the possible questions the staff could ask and help the managers formulate the response, then discuss how to tell the staff the answers. If you are bringing in a new shift pattern and would like help, we offer a course in introducing a new shift pattern or assist in the negotiations as a consultant. Depending on the staff's resistance your consultation period can last days or weeks. Getting the approach right up front is vital to a smooth changing of the shift pattern.
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