5 Reasons Your Manager Might Not Approve Your Shift Change Request

Requesting a shift change and getting denied is frustrating. It often causes you to change your plans, miss out on things completely, or spend your break making voodoo dolls of management in the supply closet. But, as annoying as it is, there’s usually a reason behind it.

So, what are some of the reasons your boss won’t get on board? They might include:

You ask too often

Requesting a shift change on occasion is one thing; requesting a shift change every week is another. If your boss denies your request, consider how many times you’ve asked. If you’re asking with frequency, odds are your boss wants to discourage your fickleness. After all, changing shifts might not cause more work on your part, but it causes more headaches on the parts of those in charge.

It’s a busy time of the year

Most jobs have down times and high times. A shift change request during a busy time is more likely to be denied than a request during quiet times. Know this beforehand – if the local baseball team is currently in the playoffs, you’re probably needed behind the bar on game nights.

He or she isn’t flexible

Of course, some bosses are just not very diplomatic. If the denial of your request has you scratching your head, it’s always possible that your boss simply has no flexibility. There’s not a lot you can do about this, short of quitting and finding a job with more pliable management.

You’re unwilling to be flexible

On the other hand, flexibility goes both ways. If you’ve been asked – on the request of your boss or another co-worker – to change shifts and repeatedly said no, don’t expect people to bend over backwards for you. The rule of shift changing is this – if you want someone to take your shift, you must take theirs, too.

Your skills are needed

Yep, sometimes being good at your job is a negative! A request denial may come down to this: your talents are needed. If you have a special skill or you do something better than any other staff member, your boss may deny your request because he or she wants your awesomeness. You can embrace this, appreciating what you have to offer, or you can stop trying to be so great. The former will probably get you further.

There are lots of reasons your request for a shift change may be denied. The best way to know for sure is the most direct. In other words, walk into your boss’s office and ask.

Maintain a flexible environment with a take my shift attendance policy. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. We’ll provide ideas on how to embrace all that shiftwork has to offer.