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How do you encourage the workforce without incentives?

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( 6 months ago )


I realise this could be quite a contentious question but I'm looking for advice regarding the motivation of our workforce.

We are a workforce of around 150 people ranging from apprentices to people near retirement, some of whom have been working for us most of their working life; so there is a wide range of experience and personalities.

Every now and then, like the situation we are in at the moment, we are at risk of running late on a project which due to an onerous contract is likely to leave us hundreds of thousands if not millions out of pocket.

The company is asking its employees to work a bit more overtime than they currently do. Now we're not talking much, just a few hours extra which over the number of employees could mean the difference between the project being delivered late and costing us or a being delivered on time and having a happy customer.

Overtime is paid already at an enhanced hourly rate so it isn't like the company is asking them to do it for nothing.

The problem is that most of the people don't want to do any overtime for a number of reasons.

The apprentices would rather have an easy life and leave early. They do have college work to do so this does exonerate them to some degree.

You have the retirees who have the attitude that they don't need the extra money as they are drawing their pensions, so won't do any overtime.

You have the petty ones who have a gripe with certain members of the management team and they see this as an opportunity to get back at them.

And then you have the few, and I mean a few, who are company people through and through who will do extra but you cannot expect them to drive themselves in to the ground because no one else will do their share.

There have been suggestions by the employees along the lines of significant increases in the overtime hourly rate but the company, quite rightly in my opinion, have refused this on the grounds that it sets a precedent which will be seized upon in the future tantamount to blackmailing the company. There are unfortunately some in the company who drag their heels just to create overtime!!

Has anyone been in this situation before? Are there any alternative incentives which could be looked at which would not be seen as setting a precedent for the future?



( 6 months ago )

If I were one of those employees, I'd turn it down, too. All that overtime is basically the result of poor planning. By signing up to do the overtime, it enables those bad planners to stay around and keep making the same mistake. If nobody shows up for overtime, eventually it puts the planners in the hot-seat. Consider putting the whip to their backs, and not the worker bees. Try that for a precedent.

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