Benefits of well Thought out Scheduling Rotations
1. Well Rounded Employees
Getting its start in the hotel industry, rotating shifts were introduced in an effort to produce employees that can work a variety of positions. The same benefit is apparent in the police force; well-rounded cops that are able to work at different times, in different areas and with different people. After all, it is statistically shown that the majority of crime occurs in the PM. Officers not exposed to this will be missing a critical piece of their training – real world experience.
2. Helps Reduce Burnout
Prolonged periods of ‘shift-work’ (hours outside of 7:00-18:00) can
have a catastrophic impact on employee health and
well being. Research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has been able to demonstrate the carcinogenic effects that long-term shift work can have on employees. Even more, they found that shift workers tended to have higher levels of gastrointestinal disorders and mental health issues. A higher rate of job-related accidents and cardiovascular disease was also reported.
3. Combats Police Boredom
Doing the same thing day in and out can get tedious for anyone. For the same reason that rotating schedules help police become more well-rounded it also helps to keep things interesting and adds variety.
It also gives employees the opportunity to change their schedule if they are stuck with a rotation they aren’t too keen on. New recruits are less likely to be stuck with shift-work for long periods of time.
There are always two sides to the coin, and rotating schedules have their drawbacks as well:
1. Unnatural Lifestyle
Employees tend to like fixed schedules better. It allows them to make plans and have a life outside of the PD. It also allows their bodies time to adjust to their schedules and is less strenuous on their circadian rhythm.
2. Increased Fatigue and Health Issues
While rotating schedules should be designed to reduce burnout, often they do the opposite. A study commissioned by the Chicago Police Lieutenants Association states that, “officers who rotate frequently are more often fatigued, suffer increased level of sleep disorders, are more likely to have traffic accidents and are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease”.
3. Scheduling Issues
Frequent rotations can put strain on police administration. Creating new schedules each rotation, especially if they are frequent, is a tedious and time consuming process (not to mention the bidding process).
Pre-build all your shift patterns and simply load them into the schedule with the click of a button.
The issue can be made incredibly easy by using an automated system for building schedules. Rotations can be built well in advance and uploaded and populated with employees with the click of a button.