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What does employee overtime say about your business culture?

Millennials often receive bad press for being lazy or entitled

As employees strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance, we look at how overtime in the workplace impacts on your business culture and the well-being of your workforce.

Millennials often receive bad press for being lazy or entitled but a recent study by Love Energy Savings counters this, indicating that those aged 18-24 are more likely to put in extra working hours. A whopping 40% of those surveyed work up to 20 hours longer than they are contractually obligated to. 10% of 25 to 34-year olds surveyed were found to be working over 20 hours overtime per week, followed by 36% of 35 to 44-year olds and 32% of 45 to 54-year olds.

When it comes to the well-being of your employees, communication and feedback are essential steps in making sure your staff feel valued and that their health is not compromised. Good communication and employee engagement lead to a happy, productive and profitable workforce.

Is overtime wearing down your employees and eating into your profits? We discovered 10 reasons why overtime appears necessary and how your business could fall into the overtime trap.

1. MAKING AN IMPRESSION – Some businesses promote a long hours culture with many employees clocking in early and leaving late in the hope of career progression. The question is, are they as efficient as those who work within their contractual hours?

2. WORK OVERLOAD – There are situations representing a genuine need for overtime as there are simply not enough hours in a working day. A burned-out workforce is unable to function in overload mode in the long term – unhappy and demotivated staff may lead to an increase in absenteeism and a high staff turnover.

3. SUPPLEMENTING INCOME – Be aware of those who are hoping to bump up their salaries with a few extra hours’ pay.

4. TRAINING ISSUES – Do you have an adequate number of fully trained employees? Knowledgeable, long-standing staff can be constantly interrupted throughout their day. This leads to working additional hours to complete their usual workload.

5. WORKAHOLIC – Some employees simply will not go home. Paid or not, you will find them working day and night. Implement a policy to show you have an interest in their health and well-being.

6. UNEXPECTED EMAILS AND QUERIES – No-one can anticipate the number of ad-hoc queries your company may receive on any given day. Ensure these are distributed fairly amongst your team and introduce set hours to respond to them.

7. BAD TIME MANAGEMENT– Open an inter-departmental communication channel where employees can share good working practices and ideas for more efficient ways of working.

8. LACK OF SUPPORT – Poor leadership and micro-managing can slow down and demotivate your employees.

9. OUT OF DATE EQUIPMENT – Your staff may not be efficient if your IT systems or other equipment need an overhaul.

10. UNDER-STAFFED – Consult with your managers and investigate whether there is a need for additional support.

A study by Hay Group (Werhane and Royal 2009) found that businesses which regularly engaged with their employees saw growth of 2.5 times that of businesses which didn’t.

Consult with your staff, promote a healthy workplace and make the well-being of your employees a critical part of your business culture.

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