Shift Communication | 4 mins read

Tips to Improve Shift Communication

tips to improve shift communication
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow


Shift communication relies on various staff members finding creative integrated communications methods to collaborate.

The Benefits of Having Good Communication Between Shifts

Shift communication relies on shift workers who are split into three separate eight-hour shifts being able to effectively transmit information not only to each other but also with staff members who are on the traditional nine to five schedule. Using integrated communications will simplify and streamline information sharing between different team members.

Although establishing great shift communication protocol requires research and consistent maintenance, it is well worth the benefits for your business. Leading benefits of good shift communications include-

1. Increased employee engagement- When team members are able to efficiently communicate with one another they are more engaged in their work. Employee engagement increases when an employee feels that their voice is valued and heard.

2. Conflict resolution- Although there is no way to completely avoid misunderstandings, a great shift communication system can mitigate issues before they become more severe.

Clear and transparent communications will not only resolve issues but will prevent many from even occurring. To prevent conflicts always use privacy protocol and proper language during communications with other team members.

3. Optimized employee loyalty- Employees are more loyal to companies that they feel connected with. Encourage employees to build relationships not only with one another but with the business itself. Aligning company objectives with individual employee goals is a great way to begin fostering loyalty.

Finding additional unique ways to make employees feel apart of the company culture and important to business objectives will keep them engaged and loyal. Shift communication should always focus on healthy relationships between management and employees that are two-way and transparent.

4. Better team building- Great shift communications are necessary for both team building and collaboration between teams. When each team member understands their role and how it contributes to their team's success, they will be a more motivated and productive team member.

5. Growth opportunities- When team members communicate well with each other and their customers, there is endless potential for growth. Collaboration between team members will produce more innovative products and a more productive workforce.

6. Boosted efficiency- If team members do not understand what they are responsible for they will not be able to perform as efficiently as possible. Clear shift communication avoids repetitive work or overlooking important tasks altogether.

When there are fewer resources going into correcting mistakes due to improper shift communications your team is more efficient. Always provide clear instructions and communicate with other shift members about task progression and completion.

7. More innovation- If an employee does not feel confident communicating with their team members, they are unlikely to share their unique creative ideas. When shift communication is encouraged and prioritized, team members are much more likely to brainstorm and collaborate with each other.

Best Practices to Improve Shift Communication

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Integrated communications are crucial to improving shift communications in the workplace. Using a variety of different communication channels simultaneously and effectively can keep everyone on staff updated on important information Best practices for shift communications include-

1. Company-wide announcements- Use integrated communications to keep shift communications consistent and clear. Company-wide announcements may come in the form of memos, text messages, or emails. More traditional companies may prefer to post company announcements on shared workspaces on a bulletin board.

2. Staff meetings- Although many experts disagree on the productivity of workplace meetings, there is a way to use them effectively. Make sure that any meetings held encourage staff participation and allow for as much two-way dialogue as possible.

For employees who are less outgoing, provide an option to check in with managers before or after the meeting to ask any questions or provide any feedback. It is important to rotate the time that periodic meetings are held in order to avoid favoring any specific shift over another.

3. Rotating staff- Staff members such as human resource professionals may not be available for night shift works in the same capacity that they are for traditional nine to five workers. To combat this, provide special hours periodically for night shift workers to interact with nine to five workers.

Rotating managers can also be very helpful in facilitating shift communications. At a minimum, an upper manager should be available at least once a week during off-hour shifts. During this shift, the upper manager can communicate important updates and gather information to bring back to their own team.

4. Digital communications- Technological advancements provide businesses a wide variety of integrated communications opportunities that were previously unavailable. Beyond emailing, shift communication can occur on live chat, social media, or centralized communication software.

Employees can use privacy settings and encryption in digital communications to have secure interactions and keep company data safe. Digital communications allow for shift communications to occur at any time and from any remote location that has internet accessibility.