Situation 1: “My boss smells like cigars and moldy cheese, I can’t believe I cut my lunch short every day with not one ounce of appreciation. I’m turning the loser into the Department of Labor.” The second situation looks something like this, “Great news boss! I’ve clocked a ton of overtime by skipping lunch with minor productivity gains for the business. Merry Christmas to me!” If you’re an employer, you likely have hired non-exempt employees, which makes these situations all too real. Once the shivers of past experiences subside read on.
Warning this next section is boring… (but important). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states:
The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.
Let me translate. If you’re an employer and have non-exempt employees, you’re required to pay them overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. So now that we have the legal obligations out of the way, let’s evaluate the first situation.
Situation 1: “Angry” Joe
This is a relationship issue. Fix the relationship. Make a concerted effort to create relationships with each one of your employees. Let them know they’re important to you and to the success of the business. Don’t be a cheapskate. Randomly bring in bagels or donuts once in a while. Here’s a pro tip: Breakfast Burritos. Breakfast Burritos produce a hypnotic trance over employees and employers alike. Food is a great way to build relationships with your team. Do whatever you can to create those relationships people! It will save you a ton of trouble in the long run.
Situation 2: “Time and a Half” Susan
The second situation is a little more complicated. It’s possible the employee may not understand the impact unapproved overtime has on a business. As mentioned in several other posts, get curious! Thank the employee for their commitment to the business by sacrificing their time to make things great. Ask questions around why they had to work the extra hours; maybe there was a good reason. Finally, restate the policy that references all overtime must be pre-approved by you or someone else in a leadership position. If you don’t have a policy that deals with overtime for non-exempt employees stop reading this article and write one. Do us all a favor and make sure the policy is written in simple English. The policy should be included in an employee handbook that all employee’s sign prior to starting their fantastic position at your amazing company.
Finally, since I know you’re a responsible business owner you likely have a budget set aside for overtime. If the team does a good job of managing costs, consider using a portion of the savings as a bonus or other incentive. Tis the season to set aside our frugal Scrooge-like accounting practices and bless those around us. End of year bonuses act as a debt relief program for overindulgent employees. However, don’t ever let a bonus become a promised benefit. Make sure everyone understands that the bonuses are dependent on employee savings and the financial posture of the company. As always, Great Family Management Consulting is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation!