Overtime increases labour costs but also contributes to burnout and lower wellbeing. Finding the right balance can improve your profit and the happiness of your employees. Here are 11 tips to increase productivity and reduce overtime:
1. Adopt a flexible schedule
Like mentioned in earlier articles, having a flexible schedule will be beneficial for almost everyone. In this setup, employees can choose the time when they are most productive and happy to work. Flexible schedules can also reduce employee absences. If a flexible schedule doesn’t suit your business, try to find the most appropriate schedule you can.
2. Reduce meetings
Meetings are useful, but sometimes they can be time-consuming. The time spent in meetings can be used to finish other tasks, so aim to set a standard for shorter and fewer meetings. Use digital task management software and programs to manage and check on work progress.
3. Avoid unnecessary overtime
Emphasise work-life balance in your workplace to reduce stress. Remove ‘overtime culture’ from your business by emphasising the importance of sticking to normal hours.
4. Provide appropriate equipment and resources
Allocate appropriate resources for tasks to increase productivity and decrease overtime. Use software to plan and manage tasks, projects and time, giving you more flexibility and tools to manage and assign tasks. An online or visual project board can also assist in these tasks.
Automation of reporting, communication, training and onboarding will streamline your business and save time and money.
5. Limit overtime hours
Your Human Resources team are responsible for calculating and allocating appropriate overtime based on employment arrangements. Make sure policies are written and shared with employees and their managers to streamline and limit overtime hours.
6. Observe your team’s performance
Assessing performance begins with reviewing tasks, time management and communication. Checking the allocation of resources and time can assist in improving productivity.
7. Cross-train employees
Your employees should be trained to do a variety tasks, so the responsibilities are shared which reduces overtime and the likelihood of burnout.
8. Match staff availability to demand
In most businesses, there are peak periods where business requirements are very high. And other periods where the demand is lessened. Scheduling and planning for these peaks and troughs can prevent the high costs of overtime and smooth productivity.
9. Monitor overtime patterns
Make use of work management software and scheduling applications to monitor employee hours and productivity. Using this software makes it simple to compare planned and actual labour, as well as forecast for future periods.
10. Set-up an overtime policy
An overtime policy is crucial to managing and monitoring overtime across your business. Take into consideration local, state and federal laws and consult legal professionals when necessary. Policies should include the processes and rules for overtime to set expectations for employer and employees. If you are changing the overtime policy, explain how you intend to assist everyone in adhering to the new overtime restrictions. Your policy should be tailored to your businesses’ needs and establish clear guidelines for all employees.
11. Lead by example
Managers should model the behaviour they wish to see in the business. Make sure your management team are only using overtime when necessary and are using the above techniques to lead by example.
Overtime can be avoided and managed by using an appropriate schedule, reducing meetings, changing your businesses’ culture, allocating appropriate resources, planning policies and modelling behaviour.