Manager, Operations
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.executive (per & Adm)
Service (hr Dept)
Agm - Hro, Compensation & Benefit Mgt,
B. Sreenivasulu
Retd. Manager-admn. & Per.
Jr.executive - Hr
Admin Exctive
Vice President-hr
+9 Others

Dear Mates,
I have recently joined as an HR in an IT Manufacturing firm.It was recently found that some of the employees in the night shift have tendency to sleep on their work station. We met with those employees individually and counseled them about code of conduct of the organization. We sent them warning on their mails also.
We were in the process of giving them a formal documented warning letter, but somehow it got delayed. In the meanwhile again it was found that some of the employees continued to sleep on the floor in between their working hours.
Now as an HR what should I do? Should I give them a formal documented warning letter (warning was already on their mails), or I can take other strict actions like termination?
Pl guide with your valuable suggestions.
Thanks & Regards,
Abhishek 5524
25th September 2012 From India, New Delhi
First of all you shall understand the human physical capabilities, secondly you shall analyse whether the employee is new to night shifts or not, third he has any body imbalances, fourth encouraging them for hot beverages like coffee, tea or snacks if interested, and request them to take gaps between hours of work, it increases there ability to work, inform them amicably that you are not opposing any kind of behavious as it is very normal human tendency which everyone suffers, but also make them realise that they shall do justice to the job which they are paid for, work is important for us and not normal behaviour so far iy does not affect the morale...... ask them to use the rest room or anywhere else for refreshment so that it does not affect the moods of other employees...... deal with it very diplomatically that helps maintaining employee relations and mind sets towards work of employees..........
25th September 2012 From India, Bangalore
May also have entertaining programs every night for refreshment purposes for 10 to 20 min to make the work environment active, and disturbs the sleep.........
25th September 2012 From India, Bangalore
I appriciate the suggestion from BSSV, in IT industry machine is man hence we cannot treat them as machines and whip or impose punishments. continuous woking in night shifts may create bilogical imbalance also. Though it is wrong sleep during working hours, empoyee might even know that, and sleep in night particularly between 00 to 4 am as human body needs.
Some time, if we HR do not address this issue on time, It may result adversly effect on the production front. Hence, arrange to give them mid night 10 minutes breaks atleast once two hours a small break for tea, snacks as suggested.
Keeping in mind the business goal and orgnisation interests , to some extent we need communicate, and address their issues in the night shift.
Also , if possible you can plan staggered week off introducing rotation of C shift once in every 3 days as long week days , this may help to control night shit turmoil. we have done in our company which helped in overcoming night sleeping issues.
26th September 2012 From India, Hyderabad
very much agree with Suggestions given bu BBSV & Lakshmi 87. I understand the human tendency and nature. i have tried many time throught various councelling secessions , but it now seems that they are taking undue advantage of it.
Pl guide me further cource of action.
Abhishek 5524
26th September 2012 From India, New Delhi
your further course of action is to request them for the reasons for low performance or distractions in performance/work so that you may send the report to your superior who is demanding it from you and since you do not want to give your superior anything wrong about your employees.

But it appears that you lack patience, when you are dealing with the emotions of third persons you shall hold your patience and try to analyse the situations and then come to a decision accepted by majority or the right one..... you should act like you are their assistance who assist them solving their issues, not like a person ordering something, if not jumps on to his punitive actions taking advantage of the position....

When you have tried through the counseling sessions, you must have got the feedback as to what exactly they are facing, try to work improving on those.... what was the necessity to request here, first of all they are sacrificing there lifetime upsetting there health and comforts above that if you want to make the workplace stressful,....... it never fetch anything indeed........ You take some time, think and try to encourage the employees and give them time and space..... you clear them that work is important and the decorum of the place and nothing more than that would be expected ........

(do not become friends with them so they may take advantage of you, be supportive and try to have boundaries not exceeding the work life.... try not to entertain personally...)
26th September 2012 From India, Bangalore
I work with the IT industry and I have seen one of the thing that works in such cases is setting up target utilization that the employee is expected to achieve for the day/week and tracking such performance by the HR. In case of low utilization you may set up time with the employee to discuss the underlying issues. Another thing that may work is having a counselor or team leaders who are responsible for the utilization of the team, this also encourages a sense of responsibility and healthy teamwork.

27th September 2012 From India, Hyderabad
I appreciate the views of BSSV. In addition to that I would like to say if you get an opportunity to watch live proceedings of Parliament, you will find many of our Hon. Members of Parliament will be sleeping in the Parliament.
28th September 2012 From India, Mumbai
dear sir,
The employee should get the proper sleep when he is off duty so that these incidences dont happen. As per the judgement of Bharat Forge v. Nakate, sleeping while on duty is a serious misconduct warranting punishment of dismissal. So, to have a deterrent impact, you can issue a warning letter to the concerned employee.
28th September 2012 From India, Pune
Hi Abhishek,
As you know regular night shift leads to health problem, so its good to maintain healthy and friendly environment with workers.
Suggest them to take regular break but not long breaks and provide them with facilities as per the employees demand under company norms, such that they too will feel that they should provide justice not only to the salary but also to the company being supportive to there demands.
28th September 2012 From India, Bangalore
Issue warning letters, at the time of appraisals take the same into account and can stop giving increments/performance bonus etc. But before hand make sure that the same is informed to the employees and management and formulate policy that if any indiscipline will leads to non increment, performance bonus, incentives, promotions etc.
28th September 2012 From India, Ahmadabad
Dear Abhishek,

There cannot be denial of the requirements of the body during 12 night to 4AM. Keeping this into consideration, employers, who provide for shift duty allowance, double it for C shift. I do not know what is your case.

To break the situation please make a provision for change of shift fortnightly, this may be of some help.

As you say you had counselling sessions and also sent warnings on their computers, issuing further warnings wont serve any purpose except they perceiving the management as weak.

Sleeping whilst on duty is one of the grave misconducts on the part of the employees. If nothing works please issue a show cause on the lines drafted below




Sub; Show Cause Notice.

Dear Sir,

It has been brought to our notice that you have been found sleeping whilst on duty on dates and times given below:



3. and so on.

You have been informed of the same and also counselled by------------------ on (pl. give dates).

The management deems it necessary to point out to you that sleeping whilst on duty is a major act of misconduct. The act gains more gravity when it becomes habitual.

In view of the above the management has taken a serious view of the act of misconduct as above and has decided to issue this notice to you requiring you to show cause as to why suitable disciplinary action is not taken against you. You are required to submit your explanation within 24 hours from the receipt of this notice. In case no reply is received from you within the stipulated time the management shall be free to take such action against you as it deems fit. Please acknowledge the receipt of this notice on the office copy.

( ..................................)

Some times sheer counselling does not work. Let us hope either of the alternatives work.


29th September 2012 From India, Delhi
ha ha ha ha ha h ha ha.......It indeed observes the difference between TAX payers and "employ"ers (employe=utilise/use)!!..........
30th September 2012 From India, Bangalore
a) Ask their bosses to give them more work
b) Create avenues in the office that the employees can have a short break - coffee corner, foosball, TT facilities etc could help.
c) Any other avenue for them to take short breaks because no one can keep on working continuously for 8-10 hours. You obviously dont want them to sleep on the workstations but you can't solve it by asking them not to sleep.
4th December 2012 From India, Delhi
employee fatigue it's usual case. I suggested you if you provide Tea of any food please use fat free food otherwise they can match in their physic for long run. Keep each one counselling about work ethic and reduce one hour from absolute duty hour to encourage if possible.
All employee are not bad to follow up discipline. Some employee always think they have lot of contribution to company and know about absolute ethic also to work under a company. Try to minimized this subject. Hope it could be workable.
4th January 2013 From Bangladesh, Dhaka
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29th January 2014 From India, Siliguri

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Regular night shifts are common to the some industries, the employee had also know that while getting employment he will work for night shifts, in the due course some time it is common to sleeping while on duty, but it get effects to all employees it is very serious mescondut, The employee should get the proper sleep when he is off duty. if he fails it leads industrial accidents also. we have to counsel the employees and get the written explanation about the misconduct, if he continues the same we can serve the charge sheet show cause letter for taking action against him.
11th March 2014
some one help me to resove my query
i need your help to draft a mail agains the securtiy vendor , because his gaurd not reporting on time their decided pick up point in case our company frmale member take firs pick up.
24th October 2014 From India, Gurgaon
Very nice Santosh, I also agree with you!
21st April 2015 From India, New Delhi

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Can it probably because there is no manager on oparation floor for night shifts? So employees find liberty to sleep! :(
21st April 2015 From India, New Delhi

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It is not understood, whether you are directly supervising their performance or the erring employees are being supervised by some floor supervisor or manager. Whosoever supervises them should be made responsible for their performance and alertness during night duty.

The prime aim of the organisation's effort should be to improve his performance. Punishment is not always the remedy to improve the habits or efficiency of the employee. The employee should be able to see the rod of punishment and be able to keep in memory to keep themselves alert, but should be sparingly used. Once punished he becomes doggedly attached to their habits and culture. So, it is necessary for the management to resort to some alternative measures to keep them duty bound even during their night shifts.

So, you may better explore the possibility of either of changing the working schedules to adjust some part of the day and some part of the night (say 50:50) or by assigning daily as well as weekly targets for completion of specific jobs. The same can be checked on day to day basis every next day as well as on week-ends for their over-all out turn. You can notify them about shortfalls on their part and the penal provisions for poor performance.

Another alternative can be to paste the names of such persons found to have been found sleeping, so that other workers may also take notice about them. When they find their names notified on the notice board, that can help bringing psychological effect on them and may improve their habits to avoid bad name appearing time & again. Other employees can also get alerted and make efforts not to get their names included in such list of defaulters. Practice of just 2-3 months is likely to improve the situation.


2nd October 2015 From India, Delhi
The contributing members are given their views and good. It is most important that not only in the interest of production but also in the interest of workers should be taken into consideration while engaging the worker in the night shift. The night shift workers should get rest after shift working is over and need not continue the next shift. There should be practice of rotation of the workers in Shift wise. If a worker is working in this week in A shift, he should be placed in B shift next week and then C shift so that the worker will be fit by bothphysically and mentally.
Adoni Suguresh
Labour Laws Consultant
8th October 2015 From India, Bidar
Hi Abhi,
I think if you are looking them from human angle, we should create employee enguagement activity during night like indoor game like chess, carrom, dance for half an hour break after every 4 hrs working. Which will create good environment in the company to boost the productivity. Plan visit to company during night shift occassionaly and organize serprise visit and some extra activities which will help to keep them enguaged.
8th October 2015 From Germany, Lohmar
Dear Friend,

Sleeping while on duty is a misconduct. You as HR Manager can not allow or ignore this problem at the place of work. Once anyone ignore such issues that will become more complicated problem in future. Therefore you should take the following steps in sequence.
1. Never allow any employee to work continuously in night shift. Change/rotate the shift weekly/ fortnightly.
2. Call the meetings of the employees in small groups and convey your message and explain/suggest them not to sleep during duty hours.
3. Once you have conveyed the message and you observe that a few persons are found sleeping.Call them in your office and warn them to not to repeat the misconduct. Record the meeting in a register and obtain the signatures of the employees.
4. Still the people if persist with this habit, identify the repeat case and issue written warning.
5. The fifth step is to issue charge sheet and initiate the disciplinary action.

You have to deal the matter with seriousness otherwise the work may hamper. The above method is tried and tested at more than two organizations as for as my experience goes..
By this way you have given ample opportunity to the employees to make amends and once they refuse to change they have left no way to initiate action.
Sushil Sharma
8th October 2015 From India, Delhi
With regard to nights shifts employees shift duties have to be arranged in such a way that they should not be put in nights shifts continuously. When they are working in nights shifts, at least they should be given 1 hr's. rest on turn basis because of human tendency, they should be given some snacks like biscuits and tea to energise them (it is seen that a road bypass company at Hubli is adopting this and have succeeded), they should be given night allowance, they should be attracted by incentive etc. then only we can see some developments. In spite of all these, still the employee is resorting to sleep in the night shifts, he has to be subjected to disciplinary action including termination from service.
8th October 2015 From India, Bangalore
Hi Dear
I think everybody has elaborate properly, but that is more important to ask that employee, why he is sleeping while on duty, how much hours is he working in a day (in manufacturing industry workmen normally work for eight hours), how is work pressurized etc. so after counselling/s issue him show cause letter in proper format, copy mark with his superior and duly signed by the higher authority (whoever as per disciplinary action authority). After his explanation you'll be very much clear for the further action.
Ramesh Vyavare
9th October 2015 From India, Pune
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