Shift Change

When Employees Disagree to Undergo Shift Change

(Last Updated On: April 19, 2021)

Sometimes employers must ask employees to move to a Shift Change. For example, a shift in the organization may occur and that shift may require the expertise of that person. This article will discuss how to handle when employees disagree to undergo shift change.

At other times, an employee with more seniority requests a change of location, and management believes that employees with more seniority should be allowed to accept this shift.

This is not an issue when an employee moves on to a new shift with no problem, but sometimes an employee is resistant to going to a new work schedule.


Listen to employee concerns. There may be legitimate reasons for an employee’s shift not to change, such as lack of childcare, lack of transportation, or competitive family obligations during that time of day.

The first step in resolving conflicts about shift changes is to find out why the employee does not want to bring about change.


Explain the reason for the change. Jim Dillingham and Dan Capshaw, scheduling specialists and co-owners of Shiftwork Solutions, have been advised that employers should prepare a deeper explanation of why the shift needs to change and why it is important to the success of the organization.


Offers a rotation shift option. For positions that do not require specialized knowledge, it may be easiest to find a handful of employees working in rotational shifts.

In the rotation schedule, one employee works shifts a week and then rotates on another shift when a different employee puts the first shift on the covers.

This can work well when the shift is undamaged. An employee has to work only occasional shifts instead of every week.


Execute a test period. When an employee is resistant to a schedule change, offer him/her a test period for a new schedule.

Some people are initially resistant to any kind of change, as they have become comfortable with their routine.

If this is the case, then working on a new shift for several weeks can change that employee’s outlook.

He realizes that the new schedule is not as challenging as he thinks, even realizing that he likes the new schedule better.


Offer a shift premium. Companies sometimes offer shift bonuses for those who work hard with noon cleaning.

A shift bonus of about 10 percent is essentially an increase in the instant that employees offer. This can go a long way toward easing an employee’s unwillingness to work on a new schedule.


Go into a four-day workweek. Break the workweeks into five-hour shifts, 10-day shifts instead of eight hours.

Employees will not enjoy a three-day weekend per week, but when fuel costs are high, employees will be able to save money by not working a full five days.


Offer a flexible schedule where employees can work from home part of the time.

Don’t lose a good employee during shift shifts, if you don’t have to. Finding and training good staff is expensive. You can hire another person to make a difficult transition.

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