Many industries, particularly those in healthcare, retail and restaurant businesses, will inevitably need employees to put in overtime hours. When managed properly, these additional labor hours can benefit your bottom line.
Most employees will feel appreciated when they go beyond the call of duty – and have a chance to add more money to their paychecks. However, mismanaging overtime work can hurt your profits and turn extra hours into a burden for employees.
One way to make sure you stay steps ahead of the ebb and flow is using a web-based clock in machine for small business. This one-stop tool enables you to forecast overtime needs. You can also communicate with employees about available hours and expectations.
Another change on the horizon is the new overtime rules set to take effect December 1, 2016. This gives you some time to understand how this change may impact how you run your small business.
When things like compliance with government regulations may stand in the way of progress, having a technological solution helps. Fortunately, there are already web based time clock systems for small business flooding the market. Many include a feature that updates regulatory rules to keep you up-to-date with labor law compliance.
What Has Changed with Federal Overtime Rules?
Fundamentally, middle class workers are receiving some help from the Department of Labor. The new federal overtime rules will increase the overtime threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week.
Current overtime rules state that workers do not qualify for overtime pay if their weekly pay is more than $455, which equals $23,660 annually. Beginning December 1, a huge increase of American workers will qualify for this opportunity to receive a bump in their paychecks.
Preparing Your Workforce for Overtime
For the small business owner, this means ensuring your employees clearly understand not only federal rules, but also your company’s policy about overtime. You have a better chance of getting employee buy-in when they understand it is a business necessity.
Equally important is for them to see how their work and personal lives will benefit. Employees who believe their efforts make a difference will be quicker to acquiesce to the time and energy of making sure the company operates smoothly.
Here are a few tips to set parameters and boost employee commitment to overtime rules.
Explain Mandatory Overtime with a Written Policy
Most likely, you have a good idea when overtime is needed. Whether it is a specific time during the work day, a seasonal requirement or the result of sporadic events – overtime should not become a surprise.
Explain the cycles in writing so employees know ahead of time that extra hours might be required. Managers should communicate with employees and encourage open dialogue so everyone knows about the need and available hours.
Value Personal and Family Commitments
Invest upfront time with employees so you become aware of personal responsibilities. Some employees welcome the opportunity to earn extra money whenever possible; others will occasionally accept additional hours.
Let employees know that you value their personal and family lives as much as you are concerned about them working overtime. There are web based time clock systems for small business where employees can submit personal leave requests. Knowing this gives insight on who is truly available to work during peak times.
Focus on Wellness to Avoid Overtime Decline
Even for employees who willing accept all the overtime that becomes available, working too many hours is not good for their health. Employee wellness is just as important. What will you do if workers are too sick to work regular schedules?
Avoid finding out how you will handle a mentally and physically exhausted workforce. When employees are fatigued, you set up high-risk scenarios for absenteeism and on-the-job injuries. Both will diminish any gains you hope to achieve from overtime work.
Expand the Overtime Bullpen with Cross-Training
Department heads have more scheduling flexibility when employees are trained to handle multiple responsibilities. A clock in machine for small business becomes especially useful in accomplishing this. Cross-training is effective in boosting morale and productivity. At the same time, you reduce undue stress for employees and managers who need to fill labor quotas.
Leverage Web-Based Scheduling Tools for Greater Cost Control
Fortunately, a clock in machine for small business comes equipped with high-tech features to help you. Not only will compliance with federal regulations become easier, but you maintain greater control of overtime hours.
Combine these resources with your efforts and you will be able to manage costs and expectations. Efficiency is key when you implement a tool that allows you to:
- Log in from different platforms
- Check schedules
- Project overtime needs
- Set overtime caps
- Monitor overtime and labor costs for each department
- Give employees access to swap shifts
Ranking as one of the biggest expenses for many businesses, correct overtime management reduces your exposure to low morale, lawsuits and noncompliance. Avoid expensive pitfalls by using a software system that helps you avoid surprises and be prepared for future needs.