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Make Your Third Shift Positions More Attractive

Working through the night wreaks havoc on the body. Third-shift employees, who work through the night, are at higher risk for developing diseases. They also tend to suffer from social isolation that comes from beginning their day when the rest of the world is getting ready for bed. Not surprisingly, many employers find it hard to fill night shift positions.

Our bodies are programmed to sleep at night and be alert during the day. When we work at night, we go against our body’s biology and run the risk of developing shift work sleep disorder, a condition where workers become restless and tired all the time. Other newly discovered health risks include diabetes, weight gain and some cancers and diseases. Night-shift workers may also be prone to car crashes as a recent study found. Worse yet, third-shift employees often suffer from social isolation and an increased likelihood for marital and family discord. It’s no surprise that it can be challenging to find the right employees for the graveyard shift. While employers aren’t mandated by law to pay night workers a higher wage, there are other incentives that you can offer to make the shift more appealing. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Provide extra breaks for overnight workers.

During the long, grueling third shift, your employees will need to recharge themselves, and a few 10-minute breaks are not enough. Offer an enhanced break schedule exclusively for night shift employees. Better yet, provide workers with a quiet, secluded break area. You may be surprised to find that your employees become more productive and safe on the factory floor.

Provide snacks and refreshments that other shifts don’t get.

Wake up your workers up with free coffee, especially at the start of their shift. Studies have shown that caffeine helps prevent nighttime accidents on the job, and improves performance among shift workers. Too often, third-shift employees hit the vending machines, or turn to fast food when they’re hungry. Since studies show that night-shift work can lead to weight gain, provide your employees with nourishing and appealing healthy snacks. One benefit is that you’ll show that you care about them, and it may encourage them to instill healthy eating habits into their routine.

Highlight opportunities to be promoted within the third shift.

As it turns out, night-shift workers are prone to above-average rates of errors on the job, absenteeism and illness. Incentivize your best employees with promotions to increase morale and improve productivity.

The bottom line is that night work is less appealing than other shifts because of the toll it takes on a worker’s body and the time away from their family and friends. However, there are ways of making the midnight shift more desirable by adding breaks, snacks and promotion incentives. 


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