When employees are consistently overworked and left feeling underappreciated, it is a recipe for disaster. Add in the additional stress of a big new customer, holiday season or market disruption and you could be inching toward a tipping point.
With that in mind, we would like to remind everyone of one of our most popular credos:
Stop overworking your employees.
Whether you are doing this deliberately or unintentionally, just stop. We are not talking about the emergency, short-term and rare stints where all hands are on deck until the ship is righted again. Times like that happen, and employees usually rally behind their leadership when they do. But these instances should be extremely rare, not a common occurrence.
Why? Because overworked employees who feel disrespected or unappreciated won’t stay — especially if they are talented. They’re usually the ones you rely on to get the job done in the first place.
As an HR outsourcing company that often helps clients avoid expensive high employee turnover rates, we can tell you burnout will burn your company. It’s just a matter of time.
But it can be avoided.
Respect Work-Life Balance
For too many employers, the most overlooked thing about their workforce is that each employee has a life outside of the job. Overworking your employees takes away from time with their families, friends, self-improvement activities and community involvement. It also drains them mentally, emotionally and even physically. That’s when they reach the breaking point.
They either quit, their work suffers, or they stop giving a damn. (None of these sounds very good, do they?)
We constantly refer to a timeless article from Entrepreneur called “9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit,” by Travis Bradberry.
He wrote that overworking good employees is perplexing; it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. He cited research from Stanford showing that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.
If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their status as well. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.
Enter the 40-hour workweek model
From our inception, myHR Partner® has made a true 40-hour workweek part of our culture. We are not overworked. Our associates are either part-time or full-time, based on a 40-hour workweek. That’s right: our boss does not believe in anything less than a healthy life-work balance for our associates.
But don’t confuse this with not being hard-working. We work harder than most as we have a limited time period to get our work done. We are just not believers in wasting time. After all, we don’t have time to waste!
We made a conscious decision years ago to have this workplace model. Guess what? Business is booming. And our clients love the dedication and focus our team gives every day. No employee burnout has translated into consistently top-quality service provided by our team.
And best of all, our employee turnover is way below the national average – which means better service for our clients. Happy employees, happy clients – we like the way that sounds.