Need a Shift Covered? Offer Your Coworkers These 5 Incentives

In a perfect world, we’d all have that one over-eager coworker willing to take any shift, at any time, no questions asked. In the real world, people have lives and getting someone to cover for you can be akin to pulling teeth; not even offering laughing gas will convince them.

This requires creativity: you must provide your coworkers with something of value. Providing this sort of incentive doesn’t guarantee coverage whenever you need it, but it does up your odds.

So, the next time you want to ditch business for the beach, consider using the following:

Offer to take their shirt on an important night.

If your coworker needs their shift covered – they have family coming into town or they like to go out on Friday nights – offer to take it. If you give, people give back. In other words, if you’re never willing to help your coworkers out, it’s unfair to expect their assistance in return.

Offer to give them your shift on an important day.

On the flipside, there may be times when your coworkers want your shift. If you’re working the Fourth of July and getting time and half, for example, they may have fireworks of jealousy. Use this as a bargaining chip and offer to give if they’re willing to take.

Offer a two for one deal.

A two for one deal sweetens just about anything; if your coworkers won’t straight up trade with you, offer this. Tell them that you’ll cover two of their shifts in the next few months if they cover one of yours right now.

Take one for the team.

You may also consider taking on a particularly dreadful task as leverage. If you have a coworker who routinely cleans the restaurant toilets after Taco Tuesday, offer to do the scrubbing for them. Let them know you’ll do a task they hate for one week if they take your shift for one evening.

Give them stuff.

One thing that people have in common? They all love stuff! Giving your coworker swag is a great way to get them to help you out. This isn’t always possible, of course, but if you’re in a position where you can score them concert tickets or coveted seats to a baseball game, let them know. If you have pull, yank away!

It’s not always easy to get your shift covered – some coworkers are more agreeable than others. But the above tips can help. Next time you have somewhere you’d rather be, employ these incentives. And, if nothing else works, beg and plead.

Help your employees foster happiness by letting work actually work for them. And sign up for our mailing list to learn more about how you can help your staff find a balance between paychecks and pleasure.