Sexual assaults, crisis calls, and community presentations are not bound by the 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday schedule. Often times, an employee’s job function and responsibilities require them to respond to the hospital at 3:00 a.m., participate in a community event all day on Saturday, be the primary responder to cover vacant volunteer shifts all weekend, or stay at the office until 11:00 p.m. preparing a grant proposal. It is not unreasonable to expect an employee to perform these duties and provide the service at the time it is needed; the stressor is when that same employee is expected to be at work the next day bright eyed and energetic at 8:00 a.m. because that is when the office opens. Does every employee’s work hours at your agency have to mirror the office hours or should some employee’s hours be determined by the activities, events, and job functions that they perform?
Looking at the last 6 to 12 months of services provided, by whom and when they were provided; in addition to looking at current staffing patterns and talking with staff can help you determine if having multiple work schedules is applicable to your department or agency.
If after looking at documents you noticed that 30% of your hospital calls for advocates came in between 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and you have difficulty with volunteer coverage during that time; then maybe you should adjust a staff person’s schedule to meet that need.
In the early 90’s when I worked at a rape crisis center in Fresno, CA it was realized that many therapy clients could not miss school or work for an appointment during the week. The counseling department met and decided to offer therapy sessions two Saturdays a month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to meet that need.
Having alternative hours and work days for some positions within the agency can improve work efficiency to provide better services to the clients, the community and collaboratives partners; decrease staff burnout and increase staff morale. Looking back 6 months can help you move forward to provide better services tomorrow.
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