Redesigned shift patterns to provide greater flexibility for growth

When a leading UK automotive manufacturer revealed their 9 year plans for growth, it required the on-site operational infrastructure to be totally ‘re-thought’ to deliver it.

Change management on a grand scale was required

R&HA’s senior management and mid-level operational teams established a working project team and a detailed change management plan was created. An increase from a ‘two-shift system’ to a ‘three-shift pattern’, mirroring the OEM’s own production framework was identified as the most critical change needed - however this also meant more operatives. In addition to implementing the change in shift systems, 200 more skilled logistics associates would need to be recruited and trained. Because of the huge impact this would have on working practices and the potential risk to continuity of production – the project team was supported directly by R&HA’s HR, Quality, Project and Training teams.

£1000 Prize draw raffle to reward successful shift pattern transition

Changing 16 years working a two-shift pattern in 16 weeks to a three shift pattern took great planning, a highly experienced management team and motivated workforce. The 16 weeks to implement the changes set by the OEM – was a challenging timescale, but workable. As a recognition of the great effort put in by everyone, a £1000 raffle was drawn by all staff impacted and three winners split the cash prize.

The change was needed to deliver the increases in production and efficiencies

The complex 2-shift pattern had proved a successful model for 16 years and R&HA had achieved record retention with the OEM as a result. However this pattern had involved associates working long 12 hour shifts, on a 4 day over 5 day cover basis. When analysing the automotive manufacturers growth plans, it was quickly established this would not be sustainable to deliver the increases in production and efficiencies outlined.

On time, within budget the successful transition delivered additional bonuses

The implementation of the change in shift patterns in parallel with the recruitment and training of the additional logistics associates was successfully delivered together with some surprise bonuses. The overwhelming feedback from those impacted most by the changes, is “its created a much more positive working environment” and HR have found the change in shift patterns has “helped attract the correct skilled associates” for positions advertised.


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