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How to Reduce Overtime in Your Business

February 26 2020 - For many managers, overtime is something that becomes very expensive, and it's also not altogether good for the health or happiness of your employees. When it comes to human resources, you will find there are far fewer problems if overtime is not such a big part of your company culture. If overtime is already starting to cost you, or it is causing issues for your employees, then here are some ways it can be reduced.

See Overtime as The Exception

One of the main reasons that overtime starts to become problematic is that it can often be something expected. This is not a good way to look at things; firstly, it costs the business money, and secondly, it means that employees are working far more than they should.

A little overtime now and then is not a problem and can be a good boost to an employee's salary. However, when it happens every week or every day, it is something that needs to be dealt with. Treating overtime as the exception rather than the rule, only taken on when there is no other choice, will make it much easier to cope with for everyone.

Hire the Right People

If you constantly must ask your employees to work overtime, then there is something wrong within the company. If you have the right employees who are working hard and doing what you are paying them to do, then overtime shouldn't be necessary - at least not regularly.

Having good workers means that they shouldn't have to work longer hours and that all the work you need doing is done during the working day. If this is not happening, then there are some options you can investigate, including:

  • Hiring more staff
  • Giving your current staff training
  • Outsourcing work
Any of these options can be less expensive than regular overtime. If you use an HRIS (human resources information system), you can make sure that the right people are working in the right departments, and you'll know immediately where additional help is required.

Have the Right Resources

Of course, it might not be the people that need to work smarter rather than harder; it might be that you haven't provided them with the correct resources and equipment which means that cannot do their jobs most productively, causing things to slow down and overtime to be needed to catch up.

Making sure that your employees have all the tools they need to do their job in the best way is crucial. It will speed up production, make your staff happier, and reduce overtime costs. Even if the tools and resources cost your business money, to begin with, they will pay for themselves in the end, whereas overtime is a cost that does not stop.

Cross-Training

Training has been briefly mentioned above, but lack of training can be a big reason for a business having to pay out a lot in overtime. Training your staff correctly to do the work you want them to do is important; they will work more efficiently and competently. However, you can also cross-train other staff so that, eventually, everyone knows at least a little of everyone else's role.

This is useful because it means if someone is sick or on vacation, the work can still be covered during normal working hours.



Insider's Guide to Culture Change

Insider's Guide to Culture Change

Siobhan McHale
  The secret to the success or failure of any business boils down to its culture. From disengaged employees to underserved customers, business failures invariably stem from a culture problem.
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The HR Answer Book

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals

by Shawn A. Smith, Rebecca A. Mazin
  The HR Answer Book addresses 200 questions that every employer needs to deal with, from recruiting and hiring to discipline and termination, compensation and benefits to training and employee relations. Accessible and concise, this on-the-job companion offers expert guidance on all types of "people" issues.
  More information and prices from:
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