While sometimes unavoidable, overtime is hard on employees. Workplace fatigue is recognized as one of the most critical hazards on the job. Job fatigue can occur at all levels, from CEO to the work floor. A tired worker can do harm to themselves and to others working with them. Culture has a large part to play in this hazard. Make sure that your team is taking a balanced approach to overtime. Here are three critical reasons why you should keep overtime to a minimum.
1. It’s bad for morale
Employees really do look to their leadership to set the tone of the company’s safety policies and work-life balance. Overuse of overtime can result in employee frustration, low morale, decreases in productivity, and higher turnover rates. It shows lack of planning on the part of company leadership and on a deeper level a lack of value in employee work-life balance. While some employees may appreciate the opportunity to earn a little extra money, mandatory overtime is an unpleasant burden to bear for most workers – especially if it is not paid overtime. That presence of mind has a big part to play in how long your employees are willing to stick around. Morale can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to a corporate growth-mindset.
2. Overtime hurts quality
In addition to safety issues, overuse of overtime runs the very real risk of reducing the quality of your product or services. Overtime can increase stress and employee fatigue which inevitably results in quality issues. You need to truly evaluate whether your staff can handle a higher workload, while still maintaining the quality of their work product, even for a short period of time. Mistakes happen when people are overworked, so be careful how hard you push your team. Their mistakes may not make the savings worth the effort.
3. Consider hiring temporary workers
Some employers try to avoid hiring temporary staff because of the increased upfront cost and the time it takes to bring a new staff member up to speed. These issues, while real, are generally short term in nature and not an issue compared to the difficulties companies who overwork their staff deal with. Increasing your headcount, even with temporary staff, can help provide a more talented and diverse staff.
Temporary staff are often more flexible in terms of their work schedule and salary. They are often some of the best sources of new regular hires as they are familiar with the work and processes on the job site. Hiring temporary workers is a great way to test out a new staff member to see whether their skills and qualifications fit a position well enough to be brought on full time. Compared to the long-term impact that overtime can have on an employee, bringing on a temporary worker to jump in and help at a moment’s notice really can help ease the workload in the short term as well as in the future.
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