Experiencing groundhog day with your handovers?

In our previous blog 7 traditional handover types and a simple way to improve them we laid out seven (quite inventive) methods that professionals use to handover their business and work in progress when leaving site.  In this blog, we will look at a few ways and tips on how to bring the ambiguity of ill-fated traditional handovers under control and improve them overnight.  Our industry peers have described existing on/off site handovers in the following ways:

    • ‘It is all just white noise’
    • ‘It takes a day or so for the fog to lift’
    • ‘We spend to much time getting the fire under control’
  • ‘With everyone rushing around it takes time to let the dust settle’

They all point to the same thing: excessive time is wasted in discovering what actually has happened and what needs to happen next.

It is like Groundhog Day, all over again!

So we saved the best description for last: “Every time I come back to site it is like ‘groundhog day’ all over again”:  The phrase ‘Groundhog day’ was coined by an old friend working with a major mining organisation st a FIFO operation in Queensland a few years back.  If you have never watched the film classic from the early 1990’s, starring Bill Murray, then here is a snap shot:

You start the day with problems and spend the whole day trying to fix them.  You manage to get some of them done, finish your day and go to sleep.  The next day you wake up with exactly the same problems repeating and ultimately you never get ahead, never get the opportunity to start a new day, one with clarity and a fresh outlook.

It is a never ending cycle and after a while becomes demotivating.  Trying to escape seems futile, and those doom and gloom words start to emerge: “That’s just the way it is”, “It’s not my job to fix”, “Not sure how we can get out of this….”

6 tips for improving the status quo

In reality, the lack of accountability and management visibility really act as a major drag on a business’ operation, especially when you are reliant on people who you have little or no face-to-face time with.  Not to fear, there is a way forward and without going into the detail about the real reasons for Relay, here are a few tips on how managers and team supervisors can improve the quality of cross-shift handovers in the workplace:

Set the scene

  • Have a relevant template for each job position; discard your generic ones.
  • Make sure that handover expectations are consistent across your team.
  • Create a standard day and time for finalising handovers.
  • Fix a regular time and place to meet to discuss the handover content.

 Plan to succeed

  • Understand team availability to receive handovers.
  • Always consider who needs to know and why.  Make sure they are involved.
  • Monitor team workload and reassign handover tasks if needed.
  • Try to close the loop with ongoing tasks; ask for outcomes where appropriate.
  • Look out for those tasks that repeat and never get closed.  Consider changing the priority and escalate to get it off the list.

Be active

  • Don’t leave handovers to chance; be actively involved and provide support and guidance.
  • Demonstrate that high importance is placed on quality intel at handover time.

Work together

  • Build an environment in which workers on opposing shifts/rotations value preparing meaningful information and material for each other.
  • Encourage teams to share information and openly collaborate.

Review & Improve

  • Review handovers regularly to ensure that everyone stays on track.
  • Provide constructive feedback on what is good/ what needs improvement.
  • Embrace failure and look to refine and improve the methodology.


  • Consider using technology to improve your handover process.
  • Stay up-to-date with new handover solutions on the market.
  • Analyse collated handover data to improve user engagement and identify trends.
  • Source new ideas regarding handover improvement from employees.

At iHandover we provide management tools for teams to connect, grow and succeed in non-stop working environments. The challenges and issues raised in this article can be overcome with our innovative handover solution: RelayWorks.  Fill out the form below to arrange a one-on-one demo today, and find out how Relay can revolutionise handovers for your teams.