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Workforce Management Solutions: What Drives Excessive Overtime?

Posted by Samantha Miles

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4/14/14 6:30 AM


For many reasons, production needs can vary and be unpredictable at times. When production quotas increase suddenly or unanticipated difficulties arise, your workforce may not be able to meet production quotas during regular hours; overtime may be required.

This may be caused by a variety of circumstances; some cannot be controlled, others can be. While occasional overtime is usually acceptable, excessive overtime could indicate a systemic problem. Staffing shortages and skill gaps are a potential issue driving overtime; quality workforce management solutions providers can assist your business with these problems.

There are many other potential causes.  Here are four common issues:

1. Poor Management Practices

2. Poor Recruiting Process

3. Poor Employee Morale

4. Poor Bottleneck Identification

Now, we will examine each of these issues further.

Bad Management Practices

The functions of management include scheduling, record keeping, approval oversight, and making resources available to get work done. Problems in any of these areas can cause hiccups in production. If this is an issue, your business may be required to reorganize management or even bring in new management with better skills.

Read: HR's Cheat Sheet To Reducing Employee Turnover

Poor Recruiting Process

Unqualified workers may not be able to perform their jobs. When this happens, other workers must step in to complete the work. If under-qualified workers are a problem at your business, consider using a workforce management solutions firm to help you find and hire skilled workers.

Employee Morale

Low morale causes employees to arrive late, or not show up for work at all. If low morale is a problem, you should be looking for conflict in the workplace. These types of conflicts tend to destroy morale.  First, investigate conflicts to determine what is causing them; then, you can take steps to alleviate the issue.  In extreme cases, problem individuals may even be subject to dismissal.  Once conflict has been minimized, schedule team building exercises and social opportunities to rebuild the team atmosphere in your workplace.

Production Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks slow production, meaning that additional hours are required to achieve production targets. There are two causes of bottlenecks in businesses: employee skill gaps and poor organization. Address skill gaps with additional training. For organizational problems, you may be forced to reorganize your business, and place more workers on more time-consuming steps. A competent workforce management solutions firm can assist you with either of these issues.

Read: Management’s Guide To Engaging Your Contingent Workforce

Overtime is necessary under certain circumstances; this is not unusual.  Excessive overtime is a problem. Not only does overtime cost money; it can indicate systemic problems with management, recruitment or your business processes. To eliminate excessive overtime and other problems, you must be aware of them. Work with your management team and get input from your labor force to find and eliminate the obstacles that are standing between your business and unprecedented levels of success. Be proactive; identify and respond to minor issues before they become major problems. 

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Topics: Contingent Workforce Management, Production, Human Resources, Overtime Solutions