Overtime is a costly and common extra expense that businesses often find themselves shelling out every month. With the correct overtime management strategies, employers can reduce expenditures and increase productivity in their workforce. Taking on a few or all of these strategies to manage overtime for your employees will help keep your budget and employee morale in check.
Evaluate Workload Assignments
Sometimes, employees find themselves working overtime week after week simply because they have too many tasks or responsibilities on their plates. While having a busy week now and then is acceptable, if employees are consistently working overtime to finish their usual number of functions, it may be time to reevaluate their workloads and implement overtime management.
For example, maybe two coworkers have the same number of tasks within a day, but one always seems to end up falling behind. Look a little deeper, and you may find that that employee has one or two tasks that are more time-consuming than their coworker. In this case, it would be best to reduce this employee’s workload to accommodate for more significant tasks.
Change Staffing and Scheduling
One of the biggest reasons that you may be running into overtime conundrums is understaffing or scheduling. If your business is growing, so should your staff. In a retail store, this might involve putting another employee or two on the schedule on busier days. Or you may need to consider adding another employee to overloaded divisions to even out the workload in an office space.
Adding more employees may not always seem like a way for business owners to save money since it involves paying another employee, but it will pay off. Your current employees will be grateful to reduce their overbearing workloads, and you’ll exchange the costs of overtime wages for a new employee’s standard salary.
Invest Time in Cross-Training
Your business may run into problems when individual employees are the only ones who know how to do specific tasks. These employees may have to work overtime to make up for time out of the office or busy workloads since other employees don’t have the knowledge or skills to pick up the extra workload. Taking the time to cross-train your staff will make a big difference. The top benefits of cross-training employees include:
- Reduced overtime
- Increased productivity during traditional work hours
- Increased flexibility when making work schedules
- Fewer potential bottlenecks in workflow
Use Time Tracking Software
Keeping track of employee hours is time-consuming. If you have a large staff, it can be even more challenging to make sure everyone is staying within their regular hours. One of the best overtime management strategies is web-based employee time tracking software. It requires employees to clock in and clock out on a web-based system that will do the monitoring for you. With time tracking software, you can see which employees are nearing their allotted hours for the week, who is working overtime hours, and which employees may be abusing the overtime policy.
Allow Flexible Scheduling
More and more businesses today are adopting flexible schedules and work-from-home capabilities. By doing so, employees have the freedom to work around personal commitments. These policies can decrease overtime in two significant ways. First, when an employee can work around other commitments, they don’t have to take time off, which can set them behind on their workload. Instead, employees can pick up where they left off. Additionally, the increase in flexibility can create a happier and more productive workplace, reducing lulls that can lead to unproductive days and the need for overtime hours.
Set a Company-Wide Overtime Cap
One of the most common strategies for managing overtime for your employees is to set a cap. Set an overtime cap that limits how many hours of overtime are available so that no employee abuses overtime pay.
However, make sure you’re fair in your assessment and don’t set the cap too low. In some instances, overtime may be necessary to finish a big project or accommodate a busy season. Setting your overtime cap to a measly extra hour a week might not be enough. Conversely, putting the cap too high will not help reduce overtime spending. Evaluate the average amount of overtime your employees usually require, consider the other changes you plan to make to manage overtime, and develop a transparent and fair policy everyone can work within.
Lead by Example
Company values play a significant role in how your business operates. If employees always see management leaders working overtime, they’re likely to follow in your footsteps. A manager who consistently works overtime may signify to employees that putting in overtime is a sign of dedication and success.
Instead, create a company culture that strives to steer clear of overtime. Show your employees that more time working doesn’t always equate to getting more done. Promote the importance of work-life balance and being open about workloads and capabilities. Your employees will have a happier mindset and more productivity while feeling less pressure to take on overtime work.
Practice Time Management
Excessive overtime may be a result of poor time management skills. Thankfully, this is one of the more straightforward fixes to reduce overtime work. Implement training and seminars as one of your overtime management strategies to improve employees’ time management skills and introduce them to tools and resources that will create better habits.
Use the Right Equipment and Resources
Your employees could be falling behind because they lack the right equipment and resources. Upgrading work processes and tools to more modern options will streamline efficiency, make tasks more comfortable, and reduce the time they take to complete. You may even find your employees have more free time in their days after adopting new tools.
Overtime expenses can kill your monthly budget assets. If overtime wages are hurting your budget and draining your employees of a happy and productive workday, it’s time to implement a few strategies that will reduce employee overtime. From changing the company culture to using employee time tracking systems, your business won’t have to minimize productivity to eliminate costly and time-consuming overtime work.