Shift Briefings Now and After COVID-19

Greg Piper
Greg Piper

Shift Briefing with Greg Piper:

A few questions we’ve received recently on guardian are, “Is there value in the old fashioned shift briefing?”, “Should we still get together?”, and “What are some ways that we can still pass on information, but not be gathering in large groups?”

First Question: Is there value still in getting together in a group and passing on that information?

Absolutely. Shift briefings are an invaluable part of making sure that the communication passes from one shift to the next. Historically, this has been one of the biggest concerns. We have one shift does it this way, another shift does it this way and you know who uses that to their advantage? The inmates. They often play mom against dad - first shift against second shift, evening shift against night shift. So passing that information on from one shift to the next is invaluable.

Even if you have a small facility, make sure you spend at least five or ten minutes getting that information passed on to the next group of people taking over the facility. If you have a large facility, then it's even more important that we pass that information on. But a couple of things I want to point out. First and foremost, don't make your shift briefings about information that keeps getting passed on over and over again. Like remember this Saturday, we're having a bake sale at six, okay? You pass it on three or four days in a row. That information is not retained and just seems to go away. Make sure the information is relevant first and foremost. Also, make sure it is important to the people who are in the room, so involve them, have them say it back to you. Ask them to repeat it back. Make sure they get the information you passed on. Don't just drone on. Make sure they heard you and that they acknowledge that they received that information.

Second Question: “How do we get that information together without gathering our troops together in a tight area because of social distancing?”

So what are some options? Well, one is you can use a sites like Slack for instance, that is one of many sites that are out there that the shift supervisor can put information on and get it to everybody who's involved in that channel.

Another option is voicemail, have the facility put out a voicemail and everybody can call in and listen to it. So the shift supervisor gets there 30 minutes early, gets the information, puts a voicemail together, then you call in and get that voicemail.

Final Thoughts:

Yes, it can be done and absolutely those are pieces of information that should be passed on. This is a technological age, so we want to use the technology available to us.

  1. Use voicemail because we all have cell phones now, an answering service, something like that.
  2. Slack, typing something up, posting it to your facility.
  3. Emails if you have that, and ensuring everybody reads it by doing a read receipt so they know that they've read that information.
  4. Still getting together, maybe just in a larger space, maybe even the parking lot where there's lots of space, six-foot, eight-foot apart.

Get the information out any way you choose, whether it's old fashioned, but keeping the space, voicemail, printed out, Slack, all these options are available to you. Absolutely the importance is still there. That's the most important piece, making sure that communication gets passed on.

If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to reach out to and as always, Get Your Team Home Safe.

Greg “OG” Piper is the Director of Academy at GUARDIAN RFID. Piper has been in skills development, training, and instructing for over 25 years in everything from customer service to martial arts. Starting as a puppeteer for the Parks Department in Apple Valley, Minnesota and having worked for multi-million dollar corporations, government agencies, and mom and pop businesses, Piper brings a wide range of business and life skills to each training.