July 8, 2017
Switching back to Workforce Development Director mode, we’re going to talk about two more ways that businesses shoot themselves in the foot without realizing it.
1. The 9-hour workday.
This is an 8-hour day with an unpaid lunch hour in the middle. This may be great for businesses with high-pressure jobs; maybe people need a complete hour to de-stress and come back to work invigorated.
But the 2 companies I’ve actually worked for that employed this model were very low-stress. They had some busy times, and longer down-times. In fact, the nine-hour day was enervating, because there simply wasn’t enough to keep employees interested. Once they get comfortable playing on the internet, it’s harder to get them to switch back into work mode. Things actually get put off until later. They’ll get done eventually, but wouldn’t you rather have work be your employees’ FIRST priority?
If you shorten the day by 1 hour and switch to a half-hour paid lunch, you can claim that your productivity skyrocketed, as people are doing the same amount of work with one fewer hour per day. It’s sophistry—sort of—but your employees will look forward to not being hopelessly bored for quite so many hours, and may actually become more interested in the company. (No guarantees.)
2. Not giving part-timers the same benefits as full-timers.
I’m not talking about health-care benefits. Those are super-costly, and I don’t blame businesses for being reluctant to foot that kind of bill.
But when you don’t give your part-timers paid vacation, holidays and sick days, they feel like they’re not REALLY part of the team. They’re just being tolerated.
If you want to keep them engaged, act like they matter.