Imperagoimperago2, a specialist software and services company that enables companies to plan and manage work patterns, shifts and rosters, has published its latest paper on how companies can avoid industrial unrest with staff-centric working patterns. In the paper entitled; “Staff-centric Working Patterns are key to Avoiding Industrial Unrest”, Rob Ayers of Imperago states that poorly designed shifts and rosters can lead to increased absence, whether due to stress, fatigue or workers simply needing time off. The article discusses how by gaining staff buy-in, and using a tool that models working patterns, operations managers can design and rework shifts and rosters in minutes until they find a working pattern that works for the business and for staff.

“Changing working practices is a sensitive issue and can be disruptive, with loss of morale and a slump in productivity. Even a previously compliant workforce can react negatively to change when handled poorly. Just this summer we have seen threatened strikes and transport disruption in the headlines with London Underground and Southern Rail, largely over changes in working patterns,” said Rob Ayers, Group Account Manager at Imperago.

“The key to success is to communicate well, negotiate and encourage staff involvement – change must benefit staff as well as the business.

imperago1“Combine this with good data that analyses the peaks and troughs of business, and operations managers can identify what level of staffing is required and create solutions that everyone is happy with. That’s better for staff and better for business.”

The article includes an example of a logistics business that, working with Imperago, identified a peak hour on a Friday afternoon achieved with all staff on shift working an hour’s overtime. By adjusting worked hours earlier in the week, the peak hour was covered within standard hours, rather than costly overtime – and workers’ rest to work ratio was improved.