Motivating 2nd and 3rd Shift Workers

You’ve built an unbeatable machine…an efficient, well-motivated productivity machine. It’s the business equivalent of Seal Team Six or the 2016 Golden State Warriors. Well, at least that’s true about your first shift.

On the second and third shift, things are a little less well-oiled. The energy and camaraderie dissipates at five o’clock every afternoon. Not that things are listless or unproductive overnight. Just a certain verve is missing once the traditional work day is over.

Don’t blame the employees on the second or third shifts. It’s difficult to stay motivated in the overnight period. But it’s not an impossible task. It’s possible to carry over the first-shift attitude to the non-traditional shifts. It just takes a little additional thought and attention.

Here are a few ways to make sure your second- and third-shift employees stay motivated:

Add Incentives

It’s a business. The reason you need a second and third shift in the first place is because the market demands it. So, use market principles to solve the motivation issue.

Give workers on non-traditional shifts a reason to be there. The obvious example: a higher wage. It doesn’t have to be an extreme difference – time and a half or double time is likely overkill in any but the most extreme cases. But a 10% or 15% pay raise for the second and third shifts should provide enough incentive to quell any major discontent.

Know Who Wants to be There (And Who Doesn’t)

Some people thrive in second and third shifts. They might naturally take to working in the evenings or overnight. Or they have good reason to be there. For instance, if their spouse holds a first-shift job, working at another time allows them to avoid costly child care costs.

For other people, the non-traditional shifts can resemble a stretch in purgatory. It’s just something to do until they can move to the first shift.

The key for you: knowing who’s who among your late-shift workers. Identify the people who don’t want to be there and do what you can to switch them to day shift as soon as you can. The more people in the second and third shift who really prefer that schedule, the happier the overall workforce will be.

Make Sure All Workers Feel Like Part of the Team

One of the issues with second and third shifts comes from the isolation from the rest of the company. Most of the managerial departments – accounting, HR, etc. – only work a traditional 9-to-5.

So, even if the production area is busy, there’s a feeling of separation from important company functions.

Overcome this by consciously building a sense of community with the non-traditional shifts. Make sure to communicate everything with the second and third shifts. If you make a key sales target, don’t just host a party for first shifters, and then let everyone else pick through the leftovers in the breakroom. Include them in the celebrations on an equal level.

Looking to recruit 2nd and 3rd shift workers?

Keeping second- and third-shift employees motivated becomes much easier when you have the right employees to start with. By partnering with a strong recruiting partner, you can get the type of worker who can thrive under any circumstances. Contact LaborMax today to find out what they can do to maximize your workforce.