With an annual hours contract, an employee works a certain number of hours over the year but with flexibility about when those hours are worked. The way this works for many people is that some regular shifts are arranged with the remaining time then allocated on an ‘as needed’ basis. These arrangements can help increase productivity and reduce overall working hours by more effectively matching supply of workers to the demands of the work. This type of contract can greatly help organisations where there is significant seasonal variation in customer demand.
At Santa Ltd, they believe that the successful implementation of their annualised hours system depends on good design following consultation with employees and their representatives. According to research by North Carolina State University,
- Santa has to deliver gifts to around 75 million homes spread over 200 million square miles. In 24 hours, Santa would need to travel 300 million meters per second, or 669,600,000 mph.
- However, as he’s rather good at Physics, Santa knows how to use Relativity Clouds. These are based on relative physics and allow Santa to stretch time like a rubber band and give him months to deliver gifts, while only a few minutes pass for the rest of us.
- Using this method, it takes Santa around six months to deliver Christmas presents to all the children in the world.
Prancer, the HR Director, comments “Allow adequate time to prepare for the introduction of the system. Some of our workers were concerned that they would no longer receive overtime pay with the changed system. Not everyone agreed with the changes we proposed. However, we managed to get more people on board when we looked at the impact on customers – children receiving Christmas presents in October or even in July. By starting with a focus on customer needs, we consulted with our workers to agree a design for the most suitable system of working hours. Now the elves are enjoying longer summer breaks and retention has increased six-fold.”