Hiring & Retention
February 15, 2024

6 Ways to Increase Shift Coverage Across Industries

Staffing shortages have become an unfortunate reality of today’s post-pandemic world, resulting in service interruptions, longer wait times, and even permanent closures. Not being able to recruit enough hires is one thing, but when your current staff doesn’t show up for a shift, there’s the potential for even greater disruption. In some industries—like healthcare—a no-call or no-show is even more serious, with the potential to negatively impact patient outcomes. 

How can you foster an environment that encourages shift pickup and cuts down on absenteeism? One in which your staff goes out of their way to cover shifts for one another, and you can keep people motivated, engaged, and performing their best? Here are six solutions that can help you improve shift coverage across industries.

1. Provide flexible scheduling options

Empower your workers with flexible scheduling options like shift swaps, trades, and shorter shifts. You can use apps and programs that allow them to pick up and swap shifts themselves instead of having to go through a tedious manual process. When you eliminate some of the red tape normally associated with scheduling administration, you make it easier to fill shifts while offering the sense of autonomy today's workforce is looking for.

2. Consider faster access to pay

When workers can access their hard-earned money more quickly, there’s the potential for increased incentivisation and motivation. For example, cashless tips that can be sent to restaurant workers’ accounts immediately after they work are a great way to motivate people to keep showing up for their scheduled shifts—and even to pick up additional shifts. 

And within the healthcare industry, same-day pay has the potential to reduce absenteeism across the board. Whether you’re worried about home health aids,  caregivers, or on-demand nurses, healthcare is a field where show rates are more critical than ever. Giving clinicians the assurance that they can work and get paid the same day has the potential to increase show rates and boost morale.  

For example, StaffHealth, a leading per diem healthcare staffing agency, was able to reduce no-call, no-shows after implementing same-day pay through Branch. Before Branch, their no-call, no-show rate was 30% on any given day; now, that rate has dropped to less than 5% because of the instant gratification same-day payments provide. 

3. Offer opportunities for upskilling and training

By offering opportunities for upskilling, you can expand your existing talent pool and therefore increase the number of people available to pick up shifts. For example, in hospitality this might mean training some hardworking servers in as key managers who can open and close the restaurant for you; in healthcare, this could translate to encouraging additional certifications or classes to caregivers and nurses. Offering ways for people to expand their skill sets is a great way to not only encourage their personal growth but expand your talent pool. 

4. Collaborate to motivate

Creating a collaborative work environment can go a long way in motivating workers to pick up shifts or help cover shifts for colleagues. You can do this by encouraging open communication, active listening, and appreciation for different roles and contributions. 

For example, big box retail stores with many disparate departments often have regular team building exercises to bring all team members together. As simple as it sounds, providing these opportunities for people to learn more about one another through competitions, games, or other exercises can be a great way to foster that environment of collaboration and teamwork.

5. Proactively prevent burnout

Burned out employees are unlikely to pick up additional shifts—and may even pose the risk of disengaging or quitting altogether. Look for ways to proactively prevent burnout, like allowing adequate time off, promoting a healthy work/life balance, and staffing properly in order to accommodate fair and flexible schedules for all. Especially for frontline workers, burnout can run rampant and create a negative work environment where people begin disengaging and looking for a new role elsewhere.

6. Recognize and reward

Making people feel seen and valued for their contribution to your company can go a long way in boosting shift coverage. Everything from public shoutouts to small gifts, gift cards, or team outings can be used to recognize and celebrate team members who have gone above and beyond. You might also specifically call out employees who have picked up shifts for fellow team mates to encourage increased shift pickup and foster that collaborative environment that’s so crucial to cutting down on no-call, no-shows in any industry. 

Providing empowerment and incentives to boost shift coverage

Ultimately, improving shift coverage in any industry comes down to empowerment and incentives. If people feel empowered and incentivized to pick up additional shifts, they will. Faster access to pay can check off both of these boxes, financially empowering your team while motivating them to stay engaged with their work.

Learn more about how faster payments can benefit your organization by getting a Branch demo below!

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