Creating a company culture with shift workers
Don’t forget the basics, says Chloe, “we need to remember that shift workers are people too.” Employees, of any variety, are searching for meaning in their work, regardless of their position or industry. Having a strong company culture tied to values and a mission is an invaluable asset when it comes to providing that.
“It’s really important to look at your overall strategy when it comes to people, and realise that just because you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, it doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t have a really great culture when it comes to your staff.”
Chloe is also a huge advocate for equity, “it’s important to look at ‘what are we doing for our people, is it consistent across the different people in the team, is it equitable, do people feel as though they’re all getting the same basic level of respect, communication, and trust as their colleagues, regardless of how many hours a week they work?’”
Include shift workers in decision making
Include your shift workers in the big picture and empower them to feel that their input, suggestions, and feedback matters. If you exclude non-office workers, part time or casual staff, and even contractors from being able to contribute to building the culture, you’ll exclude them from being part of it.
Every team has natural culture leaders who step up when it comes to things like organising birthday cards or after work catch ups. Here at Perkbox we call these people Culture Guardians, and you can enlist them to help you build your culture without additional resources or budgets. Read more about Culture Guardians here.
“You can do lots of things for free online, if you have money to spend you can do that too, but I think a lot of companies think ‘we don’t have the budget for that’ but it’s really just about getting people together and that doesn’t cost anything.” Chloe also recommends including non-work related get togethers. By having a shift worker representative(s) actively building the company culture, they’ll be able to look out for their peers and reduce the feeling of being “a number”.
Respect is a two-way street
Similarly, Claire says it’s all about respect. “Make an effort to talk to them during their shift time, whether that’s coming in early or finishing late. Go and see people in person or give them a call during their time, because quite often when you’re in the office you expect to get responses during office hours and you need to give them the same courtesy. You can’t expect an overnight worker to respond to you during your time if you’re not responding during their time. If you’re in a leadership role, you need to make an effort.”
For building a culture centered around recognition and appreciation, Claire recalls a team of shift workers in a retail environment that creatively used their break room and dedicated a section of the notice board to recognition between team members. Whenever a team member wanted to thank a peer for something they did, or give them a shout out for great work, they’d stick it on the notice board where it stayed for two weeks. As shifts and teams changed, they could all look at this board and see what happened while they weren’t there and get to know the other teams better.
Perkbox has a digital Recognition tool with a company-wide activity feed, so you can see whenever someone in the team is recognised, receives an award, or wins a poll where their peers have nominated them for something like ‘best team player’. See more about Perkbox Recognition here.