How can you make your employee give more hours

One of fundamental differences between successful and unsuccessful team mates is the net investment in their daily operation. There are many other ways to meet the goals and there will be other posts about it. But all of them are a workaround.

In general I conciser overtime to be a compensation of poor time management. The interesting part is defining what overtime is.

For hourly employee, it is everything beyond defined hours and when they stay more they are being payed more. No problem, many companies are actually working to limit those hours in order to save money. Not our case.

In fixed salaries kind of contract it’s quite the opposite. The employee will try to leave as soon as possible, neglect the tasks and hold you accountable for their inability to meet the goals or lack of opportunity for them to stand out. Important: those are not bad individuals. This is life.

I tried to lead by example. It did not work. I tried explaining the contract which clearly states that the company pays for a 10 hour work day. This didn’t go well. Finlay I found the solution. Do not manage time. Manage tasks and accountability! Time is a tool, nothing more.

I set the tasks with a timeline. I negotiate outcomes of meeting the timeline or exceeding it and let the employee manage their own time. This creates engagement in case you are being realistic. As a manager you do have control of that. All what is left to do is steering the execution. It creates 2 situations.

  1. The employee gets his work done. No problem.
  2. The tasks are not being met. This gives you power of influence because clearly – the guidance you provided was not used properly.

This creates a learning curve where you can avoid a direct call for giving more hours while letting the employee getting to their conclusions without loosing face. If it still does not work, the problem becomes more severe but only with very specific individuals instead of a group as a whole.

It is inevitable that sometimes you need to engage in direct confrontation. But when you give it your good shot, and gathered all the data – it is not unpleasant anymore because you don’t need wonder where did you get it wrong.

How to deal with the worst case scenario is a different conversation, the idea is isolating the individuals rather then fighting the trend of the group.


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