Many organizations were downsized during the recession of 2008-2009. Thousands of employees have been laid off in days. It was a matter of time that the whole organizations were dissolved and every one was demanding bail out package from government. What more could be worse those governments themselves were out of money and in fact governments were thinking how to bail out themselves. It was chaos! Among one of them was Z-S Manufacturing.
Z-S manufactures electronic tubes of television. Z-S was also feeling the heat of recession as its operating time was reduced by 60 % during this recession. It seems that they have no choice other than organizational restructuring which means laying off the employees. The news of organizational restructuring has built the tension between labor and management. Employees have stopped working and the organization was facing continuous loss. The CEO, Mr. Bill, was against the restructuring and believed that employees were the assets of an organization rather than an expense. Therefore, he came up with an innovative plan.
He suggested a job sharing system, which later came to be called as “Switch Shift System”. This system proposed to change the complete shift after some days. Some senior organization members predicted that this system could lead the organization towards even greater financial crisis. Nevertheless, Mr. Bill believed and respected the basic human principle (secure and respectable job) would overcome the costs.
Under the system, a team worked for four days, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and another team worked the night shift for four days, from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am. After four days, another two teams will take over two shifts and previous teams will have four days off. This means rest of 3 days and 1 day of paid training.
Initially, employees opposed to the Switch Shift System because they thought that their wages will be reduced because there will be no overtime. However, they accepted the system as situation got worse.
The Switch Shift System started to show positive results. There was a huge jump in the productivity of the employees. Employees who didn’t have time for long rest now they had enough time for continuous learning and development and all this was happening without halting the production lines or firing any one. As a result of this system, profits were doubled from U.S. $342 million to U.S. $684 million. But, this system reduced working hours by 150 hours per year and salaries were increased by 8 %.
1) If this kind of system is so profitable and useful then why isn’t it more widely used?
2) What are the hazards that prevent such a system from implementation in a company?
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