The Responsibilities of Shift Managers to Employees

by Ruth Mayhew

Shift managers typically are team leaders in charge of employees assigned to one shift. In 24/7 operations, shift managers work one of the three shifts, whereas assistant managers or employees in the level above a shift manager may work on two of the three shifts. Shift managers are responsible for activities that occur during the hours he's working. Aside from his responsibilities to the company, a shift manager is responsible to his employees for providing information, support and guidance.

Pre-shift Information

Communication is a key element in a shift manager's responsibilities to her employees. Daily pre-shift meetings are common in industries such as protective services, health care, and food and beverage service. Shift managers often conduct meetings before each shift to inform employees of issues that occurred on the prior shift that may impact their job duties. Providing daily news, such as staffing changes and anticipated business demand, is helpful to employees, particularly when employees call in sick or business is expected to peak or slow down. Also, many shift managers provide daily tasks or assignments during their pre-shift meetings.


In addition to informing employees of daily changes, such as employees who are off work or employee coverage and duties, shift managers have an obligation to communicate with employees on organizational matters. Shift managers must share information with employees about changes to company policies, management structure and overall organizational matters that impact their individual roles and the department. Communicating vital information helps employees understand what's expected of them and the role they play in the company's success.


Ensuring the shift has sufficient coverage is another responsibility that shift managers have to their employees. Employees who have personal commitments, such as family obligations, school schedules or requests for time off, depend on their shift managers to incorporate those changes in their weekly schedules. Shift managers might prepare schedules as far ahead as one month to give employees timely notice of the hours they're expected to work. In addition to scheduling employees' hours, shift managers often are responsible for calculating hours worked so that employees' paychecks are accurately processed.


Employees are unable to perform their job duties if they don't have the necessary tools or supplies. In many industries, shift managers are responsible for maintaining inventory, coordinating logistics for shipping and delivery and ensuring that employees have the necessary supplies and equipment to do their jobs. For example, a shift manager for a restaurant might order staples for stocking kitchen supplies that back-of-the-house employees require for preparing most meals. Likewise, glassware and utensils, table settings and condiment containers are among other routine supplies for which restaurant shift managers are responsible.


Reconciling sales, including cash and credit transactions, is a task for which shift managers are responsible. Shift managers who tabulate sales for commission reports are responsible to employees for accurate reporting to payroll and sales departments. In addition, when a shift manager is accountable for reconciling his shift's customer transactions, he functions as the checks and balances person for the employee, verifying that the employee correctly performed the transactions. If case of discrepancies, the shift manager is responsible for raising the issue with the employee who handled the transaction and providing corrective action when needed to help the employee perform his job duties satisfactorily.

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