hetal_hets Started The Discussion:

We are facing problems in night shift that our Night shift employees found sleeping during office hours. It will affect our day to day operation.

Please give me some solution to resolve this..

Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai

What industry are you serving? Is it manufacturing/production related?

The staff who were found sleeping on duty, what kind of roles do they play?

Are only operational staff working in the night shift or we have a supervisor?

In the initial days when one of my family member had started a production unit and which needed to be operational in both the shifts, the owner used to go for a surprise visit any time in the shift to check what are the workers doing. However, this was in the intial period when the operations was just setting up. This is one way. Else you can monitor the working by putting up a CCTV camera that will video record the performance and hence also act as a proof of the non-performance if any.

Again just to remind you that it is little difficult to be awake and be fully productive in the night shift. Try to have some engaging activities like-
1. You can play some music or radio for say 30-45 minutes sometime in the mid-shift.
2. If you cannot celebrate individual birthdays, what you can do is for all the employees who have birthday in current 1 month or say in the two months, you can club and have small snack party arranged and get all the people involved to enjoy for some time.
3. Keep the interiors well lit as the darkness may imbibe the person to doze off.
4. Have 2 to 3 rounds of tea/coffee which will help them to be active.

You can in fact gather your staff and ask them what will make them more productive at work. Honestly, ask your staff, you never know you may get better ideas.

Be it the day shift or night shift, the only thing that will help in productivity is the engagement of employees. If your staff is engaged to your organization, is motivated to out perform, irrespective of the time, they'd perform; else night shift is just the excuse.

Hope it helped.
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hi Ankita,

Thank you so much for your quick reply.

We are into KPO & most of the staff are middle-level or Higher level & they work on live Website as serving customers query. We have done with surprise Visit, We have CCTV camera, We have tea/coffee wending machine itself in office pentry. We have allowed them to play music. But still we face these issue. We also celebrate birthday once in a month where we have small get to gether.In short, we have given them lots of leverage.

While talking to Night Manager they act more like executive rather than manager. It is very difficult for us to check CCTV camera all day.

Please help me to resolve this issue.

Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Hetal,
What is the shift timing? Is it rotational shift to employee? Is it More than 8 hrs? Then,it may not solve easily. Have the floor manager listen the employee working status? Giving coffee or Tea may solve some sort of problem.First floor manager need monitor the calls if anything goes wrong in it.He needs to talk with concerned employee and ask them to avoid this in future with proper solution. Give them some soft skill training. Make the employee need to understand their responsibility. Give some gifts to the best performers. Spend more time with employees. Just monitor them in their coffee time or break time. We may get some good point to solve those problem. Arrange some weekend tours once in six month. Hike their salary and give promotion based on their performance. Fix some targets. Finally, Very urgent need is Train your Manager.
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Salai
KPO and working with clients solving queries...

I would again like to ask if all the employees or most of them are casually working or only a few of them.

If the matter is with all or most of employees, we need to conduct a meeting with all. Are they having any specific targets and incentives linked to the performance?

If only a few of them are casual, call the people individually and ask them the problem they are facing.

The challenge in working with human is none of us are perfectly same. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. At the same time, we cannot go on customizing the facilities to the extent of all employees.

Yet call up a meeting with the whole staff and instead of pointing out the names of the people or saying that all of you are found sleeping, start off -

"I believe that working at night when most of our friends and relatives are fast asleep is very boring. So we are planning to do something that will motivate you and excite you to perform your jobs so that it does not become a routine task."

Prepare a short note that does not state that you all are non-performers but put emphasis on you wish to improve the experience they have.

Ask them what will make them more productive. What is it that will help them focus better on work.

Only in such meetings, we get to have some ideas and since these ideas are from the people who are to perform, I presume this will fit their requirement better than what we try to figure out.

What is your night shift time? You can plan a surprise family day.
Take any one day and make it officially the family day.
Invite one person from the family of the employees of night shift. Have a pick and drop for them. (Of course it will involve a cost but it will help in engaging the people.)
You can call the family member just 1 week prior to the pre-decided date and tell the person that you are planning to surprise the person and would like if any one of the family member would support you in this by coming to office premises on so and so date.
Arrange for a photographer and have a click of the staff with the family member and give the copy to the employee to stick on the cubicle walls or put on their work desk.

I believe having your family member on your office floor and seeing them there feeling proud of how hard you work will motivate them to work better ahead.
The photograph on the desk will keep on reminding them of this one day and how the family member are so proud of them.

I believe this will solve the problem to some extent.

Hope it helped.
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Hetal

Are you a Factory? Do you have standing orders?

If yes, you can take disciplinary actions as per standing orders as "sleeping whilst on duty" will amount to Misconduct.

However first make following steps

1) Spread awareness about "discipline" "commitment" "work ethics" etc.

2) Deploy team of managers who should take surprise night rounds - If anybody found sleeping note down his name- call him to office of his Head next day -counsel him.

3) Educate unions (if it is there) about this concern of yours.

4) Issue mass communications (Notice)- that

"It is observed that some employees sleep during duty hours and especially during night shifts. This is grave indiscipline which also amount to loss of productivity, unsafe act, and unsafe condition. Please also note that sleeping whilst on duty is a Misconduct as per section ( ) of Standing Orders applicable to you.

You are aware that management had carried out a drive to aware/educate employees about the seriousness of this indiscipline of sleeping whilst on duty.

Management has decided to view this act seriously and anybody found sleeping while on duty will be liable for disciplinary action and punishment as per provisions of standing orders.

We appeal each employee to act as a responsible employee and contribute towards improving effectiveness of our organization by instilling discipline.

We also appreciate the affirmative response from union in this regards and we are sure that there will be self imposed discipline in our company and we shall achieve improved organizational effectiveness.



Shailesh Parikh
Vadodara, Gujarat
99 98 97 10 65
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
it will be better if we will find out the solution why they are sleeping, we have to motivate about their duties.
we have to talk individual and short out problem,apart from manager we have to appoint team leader which is from same group,
make them to close to common goal.appreciation in each step.

provide them rotational shift.every three days,
Posted 19th June 2013 From India
Dear Hetal,

After all these valuable comments from our fellow members, just wanted to put down my views.

After installing the CCTV, Surprise Visit, Wending Machines, Music @ Station, Birthday Celebrations, etc, still you are facing issue about employees sleeping at duty. This should be because of utilization of an employee. How do you plan team size? Do you do any sort of analysis with the volume of business/work? This would also play a vital role in your query.

Nowhere in your query, you have mentioned about the targets, if any. If you are not getting any complaints/escalations from your customer, then this would be only because too many resources are deputed in the team, considering the volume of business. Please have a meeting with the Manager/Floor Supervisor, in regards to the utilization of employees. Again please do assess whether the Manager/Floor Supervisor is a healthy hire. If an employee designated to manage a team of people, is failing to do so, then that particular employee adds no value to the team/organization. Pink Slip ;)
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear Hetal,

Since you have tried almost everything and received the best of suggestions form our experts, here's my question to you. Have you tried training your employees on their lifestyle?

Assuming that the employees in consideration have been working in the sector for last few years, they are supposed to find the sleep-balance . However, if this had not happened, are they under the life-cycle stage where they are almost living two-lives, utilising all their body strength during the day and falling asleep at night?

Please look deeper into the issues. If these employees have been productive and efficient at work other wise, certain degree of training by an health expert might help them improve upon their lives.

A firm where I worked we did see this pattern for a while, with a batch of employees. Right from the extra soda in the food at the cafeteria, we accounted all we could. When we observed it a little more, we found, since their cabs were registered early, they used to work out at the office gym, before the office hours. We discussed with an Health Expert and rescheduled the cabs for an extra hour towards the end of the day. This helped them work-out before they reached home, which is why they slept better and got up fresh for the office hours. Certain arrangements such as an hour break , mid way to the work day, for the ones who felt more active after working-out, did work wonders for us.
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear All,

Thank you so much for your valuable comments. We found out one reason that employee work in day shift too as they have their own side business & thats why they get few hours to sleep in the day time.Did any emoployees are allowed to work at same time while they are working with us?
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hello Hetal,
While the other members have given very valuable & practical suggestions based on their experiences, I would like to highlight a basic human factor: by nature, human beings are wired to work without breaks for longer durations in the daytime rather than during night-time. So unless you break the monotony of the work each of them does--either by way of some leisure/recreation activities during the night shifts OR switch the work from one activity to another--like the Saying goes: "Relaxation is nothing but change of work". Maybe you can plan role changes/rotation among the team members. Just give this a thought.

Coming to your query ".....employees are allowed to work at same time while they are working with us", many companies actually bar such avocations by the employees as this has the scope to create a loss or diffusion of focus towards the company's work by the employee(s).
However, you mentioned this reg one employee--is this found with ONLY one or many employees? If not, you would need to figure-out the reason(s) of the others.
Like all the members suggested, a Full-team meeting could give you some leads [obviously you can't expect many employees to clearly state the actual reasons for sleeping on duty, unless they are very honest by nature]--this also depends on YOUR body-language; IF you are PERCEIVED as being probing for taking any harsh/punitive measures, none will come-out with the ACTUAL reasons. Hope you get the point.
You can then pursue/probe further to get to the truth & then begin implementing corrective measures.

Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Having gone through the posts and responses; it is admirable that you have zero-ed in on the root cause of the problem.

You have to; if you do not have it already; incorporate a clause in your appointment letter / terms and conditions of employment; that the employees shall not indulge in any private business including full-time or part-time employment with any other person or company.

Subsequently, take major punitive action if you come across such cases.

Warm regards.
Posted 19th June 2013 From India, Delhi
I have gone through all the above suggestions.... There is something called Responsibility and Accountability. Please identify the Supervisors who are accountable for customer service, productivity, etc. The Team Leader has to be held responsible. He is being the Team Leader for supervising the team members he has to be held accountable for the lapses of his team members. Actually, if he is facing any such problems in his team, it is his job to scale up the issue to higher levels to resolve the same. Despite offering so many sops, if the employees are found wanting in discharging their employees, they can be warned, reprimanded and utlimately sent home packing. India has a huge population and you can always get better employees, who are disciplined. Either the errant employees can be counselled, motivated and trained to change their attitude or if nothing works out, then turn them out.. may be as the last resort. Tell them in advance what will happen. If they are biologically unsuitable for the kind of work, better replace them with people, who can work. If they are not suitable for this kind of work, they should not have been employed at all, in the first place !
Posted 21st June 2013 From India
Our traditionally Indian governments at federal and state level have always made an effort to ensure a high degree of protection for workers. So for instance, a permanent worker can be terminated only for proven misconduct or for habitual absence. Sleeping at night shift can be considered as misconduct , and can be exaggerated by issue of more than 3 memos to mend behavior, with held of any increments and promotion stating misconduct in remark sections.

In Uttam Nakate case, the Bombay High Court held that dismissing an employee for repeated sleeping on the factory floor was illegal - a decision which was overturned by the Supreme Court of India. Moreover, it took two decades to complete the legal process.

In 2008, the World Bank has criticised the complexity, lack of modernization and flexibility in Indian regulations, So according to labour law it will be very complicated issue if handled with labour union and reservation cadre.
Posted 21st June 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Hetal ji,

Up-till now, all the responses are by HR Managers. This is the response by IR Manager to your problem.

Found sleeping while on duty is a misconduct for which employee is liable for disciplinary action.

You are not taking disciplinary action against such employee, you are liable for action against by your management.

So please make the case concrete and issue SCN / Charge sheet, conduct domestic enquiry and take disciplinary action against the employee with in the framework of law so that there will be deterrent effect on others. If you are in need of an enquiry officer, please call me. Now a days there is no job to professional enquiry officers.
Posted 22nd June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Most of the query has been answer. I am still highlighting few points

It is very important first to understand the nature of business your organisation is into and the timelines or the deadlines which have been fixed to complete the task i.e. the organisation goals and vision.

Also HR policies and guidelines which are set by the organisation which are approved by management.

KPO stands for Knowledge Process Outsourcing which involves gathering or collecting of information about anything which a client may require.

Such kind of organisation has a different organisation structure compared to a general structure what is followed. Maybe some KPO may have a high stress level whereas some may have a little low.

Generally in terms of HR or management they try to comfort their employee since the working hours are sometimes extended and being a 24x7 operations where a shift is involved one must be careful especially during the night shif jobs. As rightly said by many that there should be suprise visits, CCTV monitoring but still sometimes it doesn't help and if the staff force is equally important than also the option of penatly should be applied. Again here one should consider the stress levels and environment.

If you feel that employee are over stressed than probably you may look into making a kind of panic room, where if any employee feels that he/ she is sleepy than he may go into the panic room take a power nap, listen to music or do some activity for sometime which will not make him feel relaxed and fresh and come back on the desk and start workin again, but on the desk no employee should be found sleeping this should be kind of standing instructions to all the supervisors and supervisors should be monitored maybe remotely via CCTV as this is very much possible through technology
Posted 22nd June 2013 From India, Mumbai
Well, if the employees are recently moved to the night shift then give them some time to settle down otherwise you can give warning to them and better you place CCTV camera to monitor and record activities.
Posted 27th June 2013 From India, Lucknow
according to me this is the management problem pl. tell me any increment process is don in factory if yes what is the issue because it is the common behavior all are found in sleeping mode means there were a some goofing without that all are not in same act so pl. identified what is the issue between the management and employee then think another way
Posted 28th June 2013 From India, Pune


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