According to a 2011 publication by the American Psychological Association, approximately 15 million Americans work at night, which the association defines as overnight, such as 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The risks and stresses associated with the night shift can make retention difficult unless these employees enjoy night work. If managers notice that the night shift turnover rate is significantly high, they need to consider how to address this.


Retaining night shift employees begins at recruitment. Hiring the wrong employee for any type of job can cause serious performance problems and turnover. Managers should look for people who have previous night shift experience -- specifically those who have stayed in the positions for at least a year. This proves that the candidate can handle the hours. Also, check references for those jobs to ensure that the potential employee performed well as a night worker. If the candidate is not experienced, make sure you clearly outline the risks of working at night, including potential health, social and safety issues.


A major problem for night workers is that they have little interaction with managers, who sleep at night and monitor the business during the day. Communication may be limited to written notes or passing messages along to other workers. Managers should make time to interact with their night crew to evaluate performance and show that they care about these employees equally. According to the American Psychological Association, the night shift can lead to a plethora of health problems, including fatigue, poor nutrition and depression. Supervisors need to be understanding if a night worker feels ill or needs a few days off to recuperate.


A good way to acknowledge and retain night shift employees is through various incentives. Management can provide a "shift premium" to night workers. This is a small increase in wage or salary to compensate for the inconvenience of working at night. Another approach can be to organize events for night workers, such as picnics, meals or other company outings. A third option is to offer an extra day off each week or extended vacation time once in a while. The night shift is physically and psychologically taxing, so acknowledging this sacrifice can greatly aid retention.


Safety is always a concern when working at night, especially for those who work alone, such as gas station clerks or taxi drivers. Some dangers are external, such as robbery or assault. Others are internal. According to the APA, fatigue caused by the night shift can cause lapses in memory, judgment and coordination. Naturally, this increases the risk of accidents. Air traffic controllers or security guards, for example, must closely supervise people or property. A worker suffering from fatigue may lack alertness or fall asleep, increasing the risk of harm to others or unobserved criminal behavior.

To prevent such problems and keep night workers happy, supervisors should have procedures in place in case the employee is the victim of a crime, including clear instructions on how to react. They should ensure that the area is well lit and all applicable safety regulations are met. When staying awake is paramount, limit recruitment to candidates who have extensive experience working overnight.