Shiftwork Solutions Survey System

September 13, 2019

Shiftwork Survey

We have all heard it before.  It doesn't matter if you are a Production Manager, Human Resources Manager or first-line supervision.  We have all had an employee with a perspective he or she wants to tell you about.  The conversation starts like this, "Everyone I have talked to says..."  This is said with the authority of someone implying they have surveyed the workforce and, unsurprisingly everyone agrees with everything this messenger is now telling you.

Our first impulse may be to react in accordance with the intended impact.  "Wow!  Everyone is saying that!"  However, more often than not, what we are really hearing is a single voice attempting to be louder than it really is.  This may or may not be the case,  but to find the truth, further investigation is required.

This brings us to today's topic, the Shiftwork Solutions Survey System (4S).

Companies come to us for many reasons but the two biggest are: (1) they need a customized schedule that fits their production and cost models and (2) they want a schedule that meets the work-life balance of their employees AND they want the employees to OWN that schedule.

Our Operations Analysis process assures the accomplishment of the first goal.  Our Shiftwork Survey System accomplishes the second.

The Shiftwork Survey System succeeds because of:

  1. Employee Engagement 
  2. Information Gathering 

Employee Engagement means that the workforce is involved.  Engagement implies two-way communication.  Engagement means that participants understand boundaries, goals and their level of involvement.  An engaged workforce helps solve problems and thus, owns whatever solution is finally implemented.

Information gathering means collecting data, in this case, from the workforce, that helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a system.  If you want to know what the workforce thinks about work-life balance, ask them.  How much overtime do they want?  What type of shift pattern best fits their lifestyle?  What issues are not being addressed through existing programs?  What do employees like best about their workplace?  What do they want to see improved?  

The Shiftwork Solutions Survey System allows for digging deeply into the data.  Is there a difference in opinion, on any particular issue, when the data is looked at by shift assignment?  By the length of service?  By job title?  By employment status (temporary v. full time)?

Once you have the data, how do you know what it means?  Shiftwork Solutions has a vast database of employee responses to all of the questions in our Shiftwork Survey System.  For example, if 20% of your workforce has childcare issues, is that abnormally high or low?  If 40% of your workforce wants no overtime, is that normal and, how can you use that is designing your customized schedule?

There are several advantages of a well designed and proven Shiftwork Survey System beyond Employee Engagement and Information Gathering.  You can finally add clarity to that statement that starts with "Everyone I have talked to says..."  Everyone can be involved in giving you a global perspective about what your workforce thinks about a variety of things as well as what their priorities are when it comes to fixing things.  Results from the Shiftwork Solutions Survey System are presented in a format designed to be shared with everyone adding to transparency; an underestimated component of successful change.

What's the downside?  There is none.  However, it should be understood ahead of time that if you are asking people to fill out a survey, the participants will expect you to act on the results.  Additionally, you should be prepared for results you may not expect.  Most companies know their workforce quite well.  Still, it is not unusual to have a few surprise nuggets exposed that no one anticipated.

At Shiftwork Solutions, we are experts at compiling and administering our surveys.  Call or text us today at (415) 858-8585 to discuss how our survey system can help you.