Pia Mareike Steenweg, Matthias Schacht, Brigitte Werners: Evaluation of reliability and fairness in shift patterns


Reliable and fair shift patterns are an efficient instrument in personnel planning, especially in production industries with even demand structure. Shift patterns define the scope of the roster and provide long-term predictability for the management and the employees. The actual daily reliability of the roster is subject to short-term uncertainties such as unplanned absences of the workforce. To evaluate different given shift patterns, we conceptualise a simulation tool incorporating an integer optimisation model for short-term workforce allocation. When absence changes occur, employees are optimally allocated to different functions. The quality of a shift pattern is assessed with regard to the management’s (reliability) and employee’s objectives (fairness). In a large case study, we compare given patterns. In this context, the trade-off between management’s and employee’s preferences is evaluated and discussed in detail which provides a reasonable guidance for decision support.