Innovation comes from challenging the status quo.
So, why are rosters typically put in the ‘too hard’ basket when challenged by a change in workload requirements or potential adjustment to improve operational flexibility?
Sometimes it can be attributed to workload and resources.
A local manager might first need to attain their quarterly performance measures before considering any new assignments. We all have to kick the can down the road at one time or another.
Another commonly used reason for inaction is inertia.
If it ain’t broke, why fix it. Rosters involve employees, unions, other stakeholders, award and/or enterprise agreement conditions, change management, analysis of costs, design of optimal alternatives, etc.
Also, some managers are risk averse and like to stick with what they know or have experience with, and others are rewarded for playing it safe.
How innovative are your rosters?
Rosters and hours of work are fundamental to the performance of any shiftwork operation allocating labour to individual work areas. Yet, many rosters are inherited from a previous time and few are designed to satisfy site specific business, employee and health /safety considerations.
Today, you will find managers spending significant time managing leave requests, leave approvals and skill set requirements to decrease growing entitlement balances and to distribute staff absences across the entire calendar year, when annual leave can be built into the roster eliminating administrative requirements and providing equality.
Lack of innovation leads to sustained, suboptimal performance and eventually non-competitiveness in the market.
So, what’s the solution?
A safe approach to innovation is to first conduct a review that evaluates the performance of your current roster(s) from business, employee and health/safety perspectives and identifies new solutions for management consideration. This approach doesn’t risk much and provides information useful for your business case for change where there are opportunities and improvements.
What do I have to risk?
Only the status quo.