In a manufacturing context with many growing industries, it is frequent for factories to add continuous work shifts in order to keep a production pace that answers the growing demand. However, while necessary, these additional work shifts add a level of complexity to the business’s operations workflow. More specifically, operations managers must deal with having limited access to support resources, teams working in isolated silos and a lack of visibility over the tasks and responsibilities of the past shifts. For this reason, implementing standardized shift handovers as a practice is crucial to structure communication within the interchanging work shifts while also ensuring a seamless transition of tasks between day, night and weekend shifts.aine.
What is a Shift Handover?
The shift handover is the moment of transition between two work shifts that succeed each other and where the business’s activities are relayed between employees. During this moment, supervisors, employees and everyone participating in the shift handover will share helpful information with the employees in charge of the next shift. This exchange of information will allow employees to understand their workload better while safely starting their shift.
Shift Handover’s Objectives
The primary objective of a shift handover is to ensure a safe and efficient transition of the business’s activities. However, a shift handover can simultaneously serve many other purposes such as:
- Gather and share critical information from past shifts and if needed, escalate it to the appropriate support resources;
- Proactively communicate information and problems that might affect the following shift;
- Review past shifts performance and progression towards objectives and planning;
- Manage and organize the workforce (arriving and leaving);
- Adapt production and operations priorities according to human resources needs and availability.
The Importance of Shift Handover Meetings
Since shift handovers are omnipresent in the day-to-day of manufacturers, it is important to create a structure that makes the practice quick and efficient. One way to do this is to have structured shift handover meetings.
The main objective of a shift handover meeting is to relay the information between teams coming in and teams leaving. The meeting focuses on essential information that will help the relaying team adapt, while also reducing the risk of facing issues during the shift.
In brief, this proactive approach helps the people in charge have all the necessary information to efficiently start their shift, while also reducing the quantity of delegated issues.
Shift Handover Meetings with Tervene
With Tervene’s meeting manager, employees have real-time access to all of their meetings’ order of business. Through their daily/weekly tasks and activities, employees can easily follow every update brought to their meetings and they can add new discussion topics if needed.
For example, during a gemba walk or an audit, supervisors can quickly transfer a raised gap or non-compliance into a point of discussion in the appropriate meeting’s agenda. The virtual tool is also practical when members can’t get together in the same place or if a participant wants to join in the meeting remotely.
Ultimately, connecting teams in a management system simplifies shift handovers by breaking silos, accelerating problem resolution and increasing visibility on tasks and follow-ups.
Gemba Walks for Easier Shift Handovers
End-of-Shift Gemba Walk
The gemba walk performed at the end of a shift plays a crucial role in the shift handover’s efficiency. In fact, by doing this last floor validation before the shift ends, team members can spot last-minute issues that may have gone unnoticed. When spotting an issue, the supervisor or the person in charge of the gemba walk can immediately take action to solve the situation before the shift ends, or he can add the issue as a topic of discussion for the upcoming shift handover meeting.
Moreover, the end-of-shift gemba walk empowers the working team to anticipate issues and relevant information to transfer to the next group during the shift handover meeting.
Beginning-of-Shift Gemba Walk
Doing a gemba walk at the beginning of a shift allows a first validation of the topics addressed during the shift handover meeting, while also ensuring that no topics or issues went unnoticed. In addition, it helps team members proactively identify risks of upcoming issues for the ongoing shift.
With Tervene, managers and supervisors can immediately transfer the issues raised during a gemba walk into the order of business of their production or shift handover meeting.
Night and Weekend Shift Challenges
Most businesses face unique additional challenges when it comes to the night and weekend shifts. For the most part, teams working during these uncommon hours usually have more limited access to resources such as maintenance, engineering, IT and other support groups.
Here are some of the challenges of the night and weekend shift teams:
- Lack of visibility on past issues and operations challenges raised by previous shifts
- None or limited access to support groups and resources
- Inefficient transfer and distribution of information between shifts
- Little or no feedback towards raised issues
- Sense of isolation from the rest of the team or not being included as much (little contact between teams, poor visibility on past shifts context, little or no feedback from past situations)
By connecting teams in a management tool such as Tervene, the night and weekend shift managers can assign tasks to support resources or add information to the agenda of certain meetings. As a result, support groups benefit from an increased amount of information on the problems encountered during their absence and night and weekend managers receive the appropriate feedback they need.
Shift Handover’s Best Practices
Some of the best practices for setting up an efficient shift handover structure have been identified below:
- Setting up shift handover meetings;
- Producing shift handover meeting reports;
- Including a moment during the shift handover to share updates on daily production and quality objectives or any other relevant goals or targets;
- Putting in place both a ”beginning-of-shift gemba walk” (after a shift handover) and ”end-of-shift gemba walk” (before a shift handover);
- Using images, texts and videos to support the information transferred and to simplify problem resolution;
- Giving more precise information about the past shifts activities and issues to the shift manager;
- Avoiding the creation of silos and disconnected teams;
- Supporting shift handovers’ continuous improvement through proper visibility from members on shift handovers efficiency, improvement opportunities and overall feedback;
Simplifying Daily Operations Management With Tervene
With its connected platform, Tervene equips your management team on their quest to operational excellence by supporting the daily control of operations.
Designed for manufacturers, the adaptive platform simplifies daily tasks, standardizes the management and operation control processes, accelerates problem resolution, and improves the communication structure.