Short-Term Scheduling: Empowerment at Work?

Short-Term Scheduling: Empowerment at Work?

You are the manager of a non-union steel mill that must operate 24-hours a day, and where the physical demands are such that 8-hour shifts are preferable to 10 or 12 hour shifts.

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Your “empowered” employees have decided that they want to work weekly, rotating shifts. That is, they want a repeating work cycle of the first week, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a second week from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the third week from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

You are sure this is not a good idea in terms of both productivity and the long-term health of the employees. If you do not accept their decision, you undermine the work “empowerment” program, generate a morale issue, and perhaps, generate a few more votes to bring a union in and “unionize” the operation.

What would you do?

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