Managing personnel & personal headaches with time

As a company owner do you assign 8 hour shifts or 12 hour shifts on details?  Let me make a suggestion that makes staffing and managing personnel much easier especially if you run a detail where there is close-in protection involved.

First, we all grew up under the 8 hour shift rotation.  Whether it was the 0700-1500 / 1500-2300 / 2300-0700 rotation or some other variation of it.  Depending on the amount of personnel you need to cover all aspects of the client, you had to multiply that number by 3.  Let’s say that the clients residence needs 3 specialists 24/7 for residential portion of the coverage.  Then you need 2 for the close-in, that’s 5 specialists per every 8 hour shift.  When you multiply that 5 times the 3 shifts you need to cover, the total is 15 specialists just to meet one day’s required coverage.  This may be an easy task if the detail is short term, however it the detail is a long-term agreement you will run into staffing issues.  I have not even counted extra bodies you’ll need to cover if someone is sick.  As you can see the numbers can become a nightmare especially if you are looking for good trained specialists in a specific area.

Take that same scenario and run 12 hour shifts.  The requirement is still 5 specialists per shift, but now you only have 2 shifts per day.  Depending on the time the principal’s day gets started I normally run 2 main variations [0600-1800 / 1800-0600 or 0700-1900 /1900-0700].  The bigger draw to this is that you only need to ramp up 10 packs [specialists] to cover a 24 hour rotation.  It is a much easier number to manage for scheduling and other administrative needs.  In the 8 hour scenario where you needed 5 more packs to fill than in this one, you can have that extra 5 as fill-ins for days when specialists call out sick or otherwise.

One of the other incentives that I like about the 12 hour rotation is that if the principal is out with your team and it crosses over into a shift change, which it will, you have to manage how you switch the shifts in order to get the oncoming crew and the team getting off switched out.  Depending on the principal and how busy his/her day is, this could be a headache on a regular basis.

I have found that many specialists even like the feeling that they are a fill-in for a detail.  It is a sense of belonging and the constant reminder that the phone can/will ring.  This is just another suggestion to help you manage personnel and mitigate headaches.

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