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Most employees accept the fact that they will have to work overtime from time to time, and some employees actually count on getting overtime pay as a part of their regular salary.

However, the fact of the matter is that working overtime is pretty much an unpleasant experience. A 40-hour workweek is long enough without tacking on a few extra hours. Therefore, if your employees are being asked to work overtime on a semi-regular or regular basis, you need to take steps to ensure your employees don’t become discontent.

Below are few tips on how you can keep your employees happy while they work overtime.

How To Keep Your Employees Happy

Set Clear Expectations

At some point, people working overtime just want to go home and will essentially just shut down. In this respect, it can be helpful to be clear on your expectations.

Explain to your staff members that don’t want to have unrealistic expectations. If you don’t clearly lay out what you do expect, they might assume you are being unrealistic. They may go along resentfully, severely affecting their job satisfaction in the process.

Emphasize Communication

Because overtime can be stressful, it’s more important than ever to maintain strong communication with your staff when they are being asked to work additional hours. Regularly check in with your workers regarding any issues related to the overtime, especially those that could have been prevented. Follow up on any actionable items that may have come out of these conversations.

Be Flexible

If you work in a fairly small company or office, you may not be capable of offering the same degree of benefits that bigger places can offer. However, being in a small office typically means you can offer greater flexibility, and that is worth a great deal to most employees. The amount of work at most places ebbs and flows and if it does at yours, use that dynamic to your advantage. When the busy period subsides and overtime isn’t necessary, give your staff members a break. Try to find chances to say something like, “Because you worked so hard, why don’t you take the afternoon off on Friday?”

Offering flexibility can significantly mitigate mental fatigue and burnout. People have lives and they are willing to make sacrifices here and there, especially if they know they can make up for lost personal time. If you can, let staff members enjoy that flexibility and you’ll likely find that it doesn’t impact their long-term output or let other others down.

Be Appreciative and Understanding

If you are going to keep talented staff members from leaving, you ought to treat and pay them fairly. Good employees aren’t going to respond well to a situation where some staff members work longer hours than them. This is a guaranteed way to annoy your best employees.

Be sensitive to this issue of fairness, and when staff members do put in significant overtime, acknowledge the extra effort. Show appreciation by simply making it a point to say thank you and offer more a material reward if the extra effort calls for it.

We Can Help with Your Staffing Issues

At Cornerstone, we help our clients maintain essential staffing levels so that they can meet demand. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company.


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