Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about asking employees to work ovetime:
Would you use a direct approach to ask employees to work overtime to meet an important deadline? Please explain.
Signed, In Charge
Dear In Charge:
Of course, you would, providing that management was willing to pay for overtime. Your “please explain” request suggests that your work environment has no history of overtime for important deadlines. Wouldn’t this be a good time to engage those who make policy and then your employees to establish guidelines for meeting deadlines? Explanation for such a request is always important; people want to know when and why exceptions to regular work schedules are requested. Those who perform want to have a say in their schedules and unions fought hard to acquire laws for a 40 hour work weeks and overtime pay for overtime work. I’m sure you aren’t suggesting that you ask employees to work off the clock. I expect your question indicates that you don’t have a union. A request to work overtime to meet important deadlines is an opportunity to talk openly about collaborative efforts needed to make your workplace thrive or at least survive. It is a time to communicate the give and take meaning of my signature: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. I welcome hearing on what you decide and how it is received.