InTents June/July 2023 - 44

business | safety
Better scheduling can
improve employee retention
By Roger R. Rosa & Michael J. Colligan
E
ditor's note: When discussing employee
retention problems, one of the most commonly
cited causes are the hours this industry
requires-early mornings, late nights, weekends
and holidays.
As you'll read below, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention refers to this
type of schedule as " shiftwork " and cautions
that it can negatively affect workers' safety
and even their health, if proper precautions
aren't taken, increasing the likelihood that
they will seek employment elsewhere. So as
we head into the busy season for events, take
a moment to look at your scheduling policies
and see if perhaps there are ways to make the
hours a little more sustainable for your team.
Work-rest ratios
The more a person works, the less time
he or she will have for rest. People who
work an 8-hour shift will have 16 hours
left in a day to do everything else, and to
get some rest. People who work a 12-hour
shift have only 12 hours to do everything
else and to rest. In a situation like this, the
extra work hours mean more tiredness
and less time for rest. Many times, their
home responsibilities, such as taking care
of children, cannot change from day to day.
If they are working overtime or a 12-hour
shift, they still must take care of home
duties, and since these duties take the same
amount of time every day, workers may
sacrifice rest and sleep after a long workday.
When looking at work versus rest,
consider how many breaks are taken
during the shift and the length of breaks.
Depending on the type of work and length
of the day, several short breaks might be
44 intents june-july 2023
better than a few long breaks, particularly
for jobs requiring heavy physical labor.
How tired a worker is also depends
partly on how many days in a row he or
she works. Fatigue builds up over several
workdays, as well as over a single workday.
This happens especially when a person
gets less sleep between workdays than
on rest days. As we mentioned earlier,
a worker might not get enough sleep
between long workdays because of home
responsibilities. So, if a person works
several days in a row, for example, six or
seven, a good deal of sleep might be lost.
Then the worker feels exceptionally tired
during the last one or two shifts.
Interference with social and family life
Most social and family events happen during
the evening or on weekends. Because
shiftworkers are on the job in the evening
or on weekends, or because they sleep
during the day, they often miss out on social
or family activities. When shiftworkers
are asked about problems with their work
schedule, they usually say that the number
one problem is missing family and friends.
Most shiftworkers agree that sleep also
is a problem, but sometimes they would
rather lose a little sleep just to see other
people, especially their spouse or children.
Long-term health effects
In the long run, it is possible for a
demanding work schedule to negatively
affect a person's health. Some research has
suggested that shiftworkers have more
upset stomachs, constipation, and stomach
ulcers than day workers. Heart problems

InTents June/July 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents June/July 2023

InTents June/July 2023 - Cover1
InTents June/July 2023 - Cover2
InTents June/July 2023 - 1
InTents June/July 2023 - 2
InTents June/July 2023 - 3
InTents June/July 2023 - 4
InTents June/July 2023 - 5
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