Is Your Staff Overworked?

New findings from a recent survey have shown that a number of workers are feeling the effects of working overtime and not getting paid for it. While 20% of surveyed employees are putting more hours into their jobs, only 40% of them are being reimbursed for their efforts. The overall effect is a significantly stressed out workforce and, as we know, stressed out usually also means less productive.

Those in the know say that the traditional complaint of not getting paid enough or a personality clash with a manager have been replaced with working extra long hours and not being rewarded for it. What it means for local companies however is a big motivator for staff to start looking for a new job.

In the survey, which took the opinions of 1,600 employers into account 63% said their staff had carried on working overtime this year, but the input in terms of hours had not increased. Not surprisingly, 11% said they had managed to reduce employee overtime.

While a certain amount of extra work may be required from time to time, in any job, professional recruitment specialists recommend that those companies wishing to retain their top talent start looking at ways to minimise the amount of overtime being invested by employees.

And if the prospect of employing full time staff does not quite agree with your projected cash flow there is always the option of having temporary administrative staff help you out. Virtual offices are easier to manage than ever before these days, with the technology that is available, at affordable prices to businesses that need to streamline their operations and get ahead again.

Certainly one of the broader repercussions of overworking fulltime staff is limiting other workers’ exposure to work experience, as well as income. One area that is definitely feeling the pinch is apprenticeship. Commencement figures for apprenticeships are showing a noticeable dip. One of the reasons attributed to this is the change in the incentives available for participating employers, as well as reductions in trainer wages.

Changes to funding for the Victorian government have been well publicised. Of concern, 50% of Australian apprentices do not finish their training courses, wasting significant amounts of time and money.

One of the criticisms that have been lodged about the way the system currently works is the failure to implement a local standard and, as a result, local states have all used their own approaches. Because certain industries rely on apprenticeships for licensing purposes, they are an integral part of the local business future.

And Australia may be well equipped and conditioned when it comes to tertiary education, but on-the-job training programs still require more input to make them more effective and successful.

There certainly are major benefits in it for aspiring professionals, but organisations can benefit from the programs in numerous ways too. Within a company apprenticeships contribute to sustainable leadership cycles and successful transfers of business skills, as younger people are trained up the ranks, within the framework of the company’s ethos. The apprentice effectively provides another set of hands in the workforce and can provide an important support role as he or she becomes more proficient within the designation he or she is training for.

So, if the employees in your business are feeling a little strained and the work is piling up, why not consider an internship or apprenticeship? You will be helping to up-skill other people, while contributing to the resource pool within your business. Of course you need to be specific and selective in your approach, but if you want to create a sustainable community of practice, maybe it needs to start right there in your office.

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