For many employees, picking up overtime shifts is seen as a way to earn some extra dollars on top of their basic wage, especially over the holidays. As an employer, there are many different ways you can reward this extra work – and it helps to retain your best staff.

This article will go into the financial and non-financial ways to reward overtime, and how this’ll help to retain your workforce. We’ll also discuss things to avoid doing when it comes to overtime work.

What is overtime work?

Overtime work are any extra hours worked by an employee that exceed their scheduled hours. These hours are typically picked up during a busy shift, when staffing levels are lower than usual. This is more common in public facing industries, such as retail and hospitality – especially during the holidays.

Are there any rules when it comes to overtime?

You need to make sure you pay your staff correctly for overtime work – failure to do so could be a breach of contract. In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours every week. Out of the approximately 200 countries in the world, 134 have laws capping the maximum number of hours an employee can work. Overtime pay rate is 1.5 times an employees’ regular hourly pay. But the number of hours needed to work before qualifying for overtime differ by State or Province. Some typical variables are:

  • An excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
  • An excess of 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week.
  • An excess of 12 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
  • An excess of 40 hours a week.
  • An excess of 44 hours a week.
  • An excess of 48 hours a week.

As an employer, you need to understand it’s your responsibility to make sure your company matches local legislation.

How to provide non-financial overtime rewards

Rewarding overtime isn’t always about money. Whilst it’s a legal requirement to pay overtime correctly – there’s nothing stopping you from offering additional non-financial incentives to your staff. These can be seen as an attractive perk for your employees, and shows you’re willing to go the extra mile. Small things like this, can make staff want to stay in their role.

Offer the following:

  • Provide an extra vacation day following a busy period.
  • Offer an early finish or late start to the day after overtime work – allowing your staff to rest.
  • Gift your staff with vouchers for food or shopping outlets.
  • Provide meals for workers during the shift.
  • Flexible work hours and environment such as work at home.
  • Pay for education and training.
  • Offer bonuses to cover educational loans or extra medical costs not covered by insurance.

Going the extra mile and providing your staff with non-financial rewards can make them feel valued and appreciated. These are two of the main reasons you can retain your best staff. The happier employees are, the more positive the working atmosphere will be which will lead to an increase in productivity.

Rewarding your staff correctly for working overtime will make it easier to get last minute cover. If you go above and beyond for them – it’ll be reciprocated.

What to avoid as an employer when it comes to overtime

They’re certain things employers should avoid doing which could potentially be seen as taking advantage:

  • Asking employees to perform small tasks after they’ve clocked out.
  • Carrying any overtime hours into the next working week.
  • Asking employees to come in 10 minutes early to open up before clocking in.
  • Automatically deducting time for lunch or breaks.
  • Stating on rotas that someone is wrongly a manager, making them exempt from overtime.

By doing any of the above, you could leave yourself open to a breach of contract and reported to employment development department or find yourself with a lawsuit from a labor attorney. You could be faced with compensation to pay – which is usually more than you would’ve paid them in the first place.

This practice can also damage your company’s reputation, making it more difficult to retain and attract the best staff in the future.

This article was provided by Hope McManus at BrightHR. Providing HR management software used to reduce employee turnover, boost productivity, and make your business a success.

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