A global pharmaceutical firm had facilities worldwide but no experience thing in the area of a new plant under construction.  Therefore, they wanted to benchmark HR practices and pay polices for that area in order to be better able to recruit and retain qualified, talented employees for their new facility. 

To accomplish this, Circadian Technologies was retained to conduct a marketing study and determine the types of shift schedules and shiftwork practices that were currently being employed by other 24-hour operations within a 50 mile radius of the new facility.

The study entailed identifying shiftwork operations in the target area, sending each facility an independent survey on their shiftwork practices, and then compiling the results into a report that benchmarked the practices in the target area.

In addition to creating client specific shiftwork questions, Circadian utilized research questions from its national Shiftwork Practices Survey, an annual survey for plant level managers across North America, to collect data on business practices that were of particular interest to the new pharmaceutical firm.

The responses from area manufacturers enabled us to identify key shiftwork polices from the following areas:

  • Company Demographics
  • Employment Characteristics
  • Schedule Characteristics
  • Pay & Overtime Issues
  • Safety Issues
  • HR & Benefits

The respondents included a cross-section of manufacturing facilities, utility operations, and health care locations.  While salary and benefits from these operations varied slightly, their shiftwork practices reflected the local employment demographic.  The responding locations within the target area also included a pharmaceutical plant, a chemical processing plant, and a semi-conductor manufacturer that were located in the immediate vicinity of the new pharmaceutical plant.  In total, 7,730 full-time, shiftworking employees, and 610 part-time employees were employed by the respondents.  

Some of the key practices that were identified included types of shiftwork schedules worked in the area, union representatives, pay rates, shift differentials, health care and benefits programs, turnover,  absenteeism rates, absenteeism controls, overtime levels, shift trading, and weekend premiums to name a few.

The information collected in the study proved helpful in developing pay scales and work policies for the new pharmaceutical plant and enabled it to be competitive in the local work community.   Through each market research and benchmarking, there is an opportunity to establish a truly state-of-the art and world-class shiftwork operation by creating an attractive and desireable place to work, and supporting that operation with effective policies, practices, and procedures.

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