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    20 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2010 9:51 PM by DebbyBlitzLoc

    Salaried employees working overtime

    exhibitbiz Wayfarer
      I have a start-up business with my first employee. When I worked for another employer, I always put in long hours with no overtime pay. We work in a creative field and that was just part of it. Now that I have my own business in the same field, I find it difficult to motivate my young employee (3-4 years out of college) to work over 40 hours per week. Prior to hiring, I explained that this is not a 40 hour per week job, and that it would average 50+ hours per week. I've previously tried bonuses based on productivity, now I've moved to an overtime policy of salary plus straight time after 50 hours, and still not getting results.

      Am I being unrealistic in my expectations?
        • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
          DomainDiva Ranger
          No,you have an unmotivated person...all the carrots in the world will not get this child moving. Anyone that cares about the job will bust it to get the work done....
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Salaried employees working overtime, Welcome

            Do you have an accountant?? Who is charge of Payroll.

            Overtime is the amount of time someone works beyond normal working hours.
            Normal hours may be determined in several ways:
            • by custom (what is considered healthy or reasonable by society),
            • by practices of a given trade or profession,
            • by legislation,
            • by agreement between employers and workers or their representatives.

            *Overtime pay rates can cause workers to work longer hours than they
            would at a flat hourly rate.*

             

            Be careful, LUCKIEST

             


            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                exhibitbiz Wayfarer
                Luckiest, thanks for your reply. I'm in charge of payroll. I hire an accountant to calculate taxes and write the checks, but I give them the gross pay figures.

                Maybe overtime isn't the correct word here. Basically, I'm acknowledging that I need my employee to work long hours more than occasionally but willing to reward for it. I'm trying to decide if I should change my reward system (again) or try to find a more motivated employee willing to put in the hours.
                  • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                    LUCKIEST Guide
                    Salaried employees working overtime

                    O K, Lets try another approach. Where are you??, like city and state??
                    What type of business?? Is it common in your field for an employee to work longer hours??

                    Finally as you stated, maybe you need to find a more motivated employee.
                    Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and may be able to help.

                    Again LUCKIEST
                      • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                        exhibitbiz Wayfarer
                        We work outside Atlanta, GA, and we are a creative consulting firm. We design custom exhibits for trade shows, museums, and corporate interiors. And yes, its very common for exhibit designers to put in long hours. With all the recent press about employees suing for unpaid overtime, I've researched and we're not subject to those rulings because we're a creative firm. So my question is more about employee motivation rather than compensation.

                        I've used SCORE before in a previous business venture years ago and I agree, it'd be a good idea to contact them.
                  • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                    A_Ellicott Adventurer
                    I've seen a number of articles that emphasize that today's young workers are not motivated as much by money and climbing the corporate ladder as their parents were. So you need to ask yourself. Do you have an unmotivated worker; or do you have a worker that is not motivated by the same things that motivate you?

                    I suggest you consider new ideas. You mentioned you work in the creative field. Could you let this worker have more creative control over their work? A lot of young people look for jobs where they fee that their contribution is important and valued. What about a flexible schedule? Relaxed work rules and/or dress code? Lastly, why not just ask?

                    We've all read stories about kids working at the high-tech startup putting in 20 hour days fueled by nothing but pizza and beer. That shows that being young does not automatically equal being lazy or unmotivated. Before giving up on this worker, try some different things. You might be pleasantly surpised.
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                        exhibitbiz Wayfarer
                        Thanks for your reply. I've tried most of the things you've mentioned.

                        More creative control - I give it where I can but there's quite a learning curve to our industry, custom exhibit design, so a lot of design direction is involved with someone new to the industry. We covered that in our initial interviews.

                        Flexible schedule - I offered that, but ended up with people showing up late and leaving after 8 hours. I still have a policy that allows you to come in later if you worked late the previous night. I also bought new Mac laptops so people could work at home, but that doesn't happen unless I press the issue. I also buy dinner if we work 'til 8:00 or later.

                        Relaxed work rules and dress code - we have an informal atmosphere and dress code.

                        Asking - I have on several occasions and it lasts for a week or two.

                        As I write this I think I'm getting my answer...
                      • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                        exhibitbiz Wayfarer
                        Marked answered by mistake, would love to hear additional feedback
                          • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                            DMIGUY Adventurer
                            First, I wouldn't count on the exemption working. Anyone can sue, and someone that is not motivated per se might look for any reason to sue.

                            That said, I'll relate a quick story. A friend of mine worked as a partner in a huge advertising company in New York, and found himself with unrealistic deadlines and employees that didn't comprehend the term "urgency". And the idea of 12 hour days (still not enough, but at least helpful) were unheard of.

                            He chose this tack.

                            He told all of his subordinates that from the 1st of the next month, they would all be working 6 hour days, and he would be hiring people to work the other 6 hours.

                            Some quit, some got motivated. Those that did get motivated, and were willing to put in the time, ended up with sufficient perks to make them realize that the time spent wasn't punishment, but just part of the industry.

                            It seemed a bit drastic at the time, but the company's success indicated that it was a great move.
                          • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                            Lighthouse24 Ranger

                            To confirm the facts: This is an exempt (from overtime) employee, meaning that he/she earns at least $455/week and his/her primary duty requires advanced knowledge in a field that's customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized instruction above the high school level, and includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.

                            If all that is correct, the issue is not what time the employee comes in or leaves -- that's really irrelevant. The issue is whether or not he/she is getting the job done. In other words, your coaching or disciplinary discussions must focus on the specific assigned work goals, standards, or expectations that the employee failed to meet -- not how many hours he/she was at work.

                            Hope that helps. Good luck.
                            • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                              Bridge Navigator

                              Several other things to consider:

                              1) If you consistently need your employee to work over 40 hrs a week, maybe you need another employee.

                              2) The employee may see it as no matter how late I work, there is always more to get done, so at some point they need to stop.

                              3) As said in a previous post, they may not be motivated by money - it's a different generation.

                              You never said if the employees work was good. If they are a great employee except for the fact they do not like working more than 40 hours per week, you might need to deal with it. If hey are an average employee, replace them.

                              Has the employee said, or have you asked, why they do not like working overtime? Are there family issues, a second job, or some other reason?
                              • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                                puzzleman Tracker

                                I think that since you are in a creative field, you should be more concerned about the amount of work done by the due date. If someone is really quick or smart, they may be able to get the work done in a shorter time frame. Just because you put in the hours doesn't mean that they are productive hours.

                                I have an employee who gets their assigned work done in half the time of others with the quality that I expect. When I talked with her, I asked if she wanted more work or go home early. We worked out where she gets paid a set amount to do the work and if it takes longer is takes longer and if she gets it done early she goes home early. I pay her the amount budgeted for the work.

                                So my suggestion is to manage by agreeing on the amount of work on this project to be done by a certain time, no matter how many or few hours the employee puts in. As long as they meet your budget.

                                Jim
                                  • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                                    Lighthouse24 Ranger
                                    Are you certain about the "if it takes longer, it takes longer" and "no matter how many . . . hours the employee puts in" part? I could be mistaken, but my understanding is that piece rate workers, by definition, are not exempt and therefore must be paid overtime. (I think a local satellite TV installer just took a hit on this from the Department of Labor.)
                                      • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                                        puzzleman Tracker
                                        I was a little over zealous in my description. The work does not take over 4 hours per day (which is the minimum production standard). So I pay her the same amount whether she physically works 2 or 4 hours. My concern is that the work is done correctly and on time.

                                        This situation is a win - win. I get the work done correctly, on time and on budget. She gets more time to be with her kids and makes the same amount whether it takes her 2 or 4 hours.

                                        Jim
                                    • Re: Salaried employees working overtime
                                      DebbyBlitzLoc Adventurer
                                      I would have to agree that being on salary means that you get the work done in the time required, if it only takes you 5 hours so be it, then you have more free time. Conversely if it takes you 15 hours a day to get the work done, so be it.

                                      You really didn't mention if this employee was actually getting the required amount of work accomplished or not. I wonder if it was an issue of him just not putting in enough hours because you are accustomed to working longer hours. Salary usually means that you will work whatever hours needed to get the job done, whether that means really long days sometimes and short days other times, it should all balance itself out.

                                      Debby