09 April 2024

Embracing diverse employee needs in a shift-based production environment

By Trivium Communications
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In the world of manufacturing, maintaining a balanced, safe, and efficient work environment is paramount. The challenge intensifies in a shift-based setting, where the rhythm of work and personal lives intertwine closely. However, it's not just about keeping the gears turning smoothly; it's also about recognising and accommodating the diverse needs of our employees to foster an equitable workplace. But how do we reconcile these two seemingly opposing objectives? The experience of our team in Casablanca, Morocco, can be a valuable source of inspiration on inclusivity and respect.

Balancing safety, efficiency, and personal needs

Morocco, a predominantly Muslim country, is rich in tradition and culture and remarkably open and respectful of all religious practices. This diversity is mirrored in our workforce, comprising employees who bring a wide array of perspectives and beliefs to our plant. As a company committed to diversity and inclusion, we see it as our duty to respect all employees' religious beliefs and practices, enabling them to observe them without sacrificing their work performance, comfort, or safety.

For our Muslim employees, this means accommodating the Islamic practice of praying five times a day. We recognise that flexibility is crucial. We consulted with our employees and identified that not everyone needs to strictly adhere to the prayer times down to the minute, especially in the context of a shift-based work environment. We prioritise listening to our employees' needs and strive to accommodate them to the best of our abilities, ensuring that they feel supported and valued.

Comfortable and respectful environment for all employees

To support our employees, we've established a dedicated prayer room within our facility, ensuring everyone is free to use it. Prayers typically last around five minutes, and given the structure of our shifts, usually, two of the five daily prayers are observed during one shift. Importantly, we've integrated this into the break times that employees are entitled to, ensuring that taking a moment for prayer does not detract from their work or safety. We also recognise the importance of Friday prayers for our Muslim employees. On Fridays during Ramadan, we take a one-hour break in production to allow our employees to attend prayers in a nearby mosque.

This approach has allowed us to maintain operational integrity and reinforced our commitment to creating a workplace that truly values and respects our people. By accommodating our employees' religious practices, we've taken a step toward fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

Our experience in Morocco has underscored the importance of flexibility and understanding in accommodating employee needs within a shift-based production environment. It's a delicate balance, but we've found it to be entirely achievable and, more importantly, beneficial to the wellbeing of our employees. By embracing our employees' diverse needs, we are building a more inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone can thrive.