Effective communication is an important feature and the foundation of every workplace, because it decides what the outcome of the work done is going to look like. When a team hands over a work to the next team, there is always a probability of details getting overlooked or missed out, as a result of which the final result can get messed up, leading to questioning of miscommunications and misunderstandings, which can further delay the whole team’s work. The process of shift handover depends on communication and comprehension, which adds up to ensure continuity of work. The result of miscommunication will be a serious mistake that is likely to take up a lot of time trying to fix it, which is why sitting down, having a proper conversation with the team members or the employee who just handed over the work to you, and noting down the things that are likely to be missed, is considered as important to ensuring continuity to the workflow. Safety, looking at the possible things that can go wrong, communication and comprehension, responsibility to take up work, and sincerity at taking care of things are some points that need to be kept in mind while you deal with a shift handover. Shift handovers reduce the pressure of getting a chunk of work completely done by yourself, as it gets distributed, taking workload off you. But it can get even worse if the person who took over from you missed a very significant point that you mentioned, or if you yourself forgot to mention it at all.
A standard procedure needs to be established in order to ensure that work is shifted easily between individuals and teams. In several countries, each company will have a defined procedure on how shift handovers should be executed in accordance with their operational requirements and policies. While this is done with a rigid plan of operation, with well-defined rules and details in some companies, the others just dismiss it without giving much priority, placing the responsibility of shift handovers to certain employees, without following a structural layout for it.
Since shifts take place countless times a year at a single workplace itself, there is a very high probability of miscommunications to occur and delay the whole work due to the ignorance and lack of responsibility of some individuals. Making sure that the shift handover automation procedure is well managed is a feature of priority that needs to be taken care of extremely well.
Tips for efficient shift handover
Since we have come to a conclusion that mistakes and miscommunications in employee shift handover can lead to a break in the continuity of workflow, and can negatively affect the result of a work, let us see how this can be fixed. Does fixing shift handovers need 70 steps? The answer is -absolutely no. It is a very easy process to smoothen out the ways in which work is handed out and to fill the holes that are lying around in the way of getting work passed on to another individual.
- In order to ensure strong communication between individuals, the form and method of communication can be documented in an organized manner, ideally in an electronic mode so that everyone can get easy access to it, without having the fear of losing it.
- Experienced individuals should be appointed to oversee the work that is handed over, ensuring that there is a smooth flow of workload. They should be equipped with excellent comprehension skills and should be very responsible with their work, as one mistake can break the flow of the entire work.
- Important information should be made highly visible to all the team members, making sure that nobody misses anything, even a minute and insignificant detail. Information should also be categorized according to the priority given to each work so that the individuals can focus on the work that needs to be completed immediately.
- Relevant information regarding shift and safety should easily be shared, and should be within the reach of all individuals. Developing a staff shift scheduling software and using it for this purpose can be very useful to lessen the number of miscommunications.
- A training session can be held for all the employees to enhance their communication skills and for a better undertaking of responsibilities.
- Information should also contain the reason as to why a particular set of work is handed over and should not just contain the material that needs to be worked on, so that the person who works next has a better understanding of their responsibilities, and what contribution they can make to the work to produce the best results.
- Meetings and discussions need to be conducted in order to facilitate face to face communication. This can also instill confidence and support in the workers, leading to a better outcome within the desired period of time.
Shift handovers can be less stressful and even more fun if you develop a healthy bond with the people at your work. So trying to maintain healthy relationships is also a fantastic way to keep the workflow going.