Thursday, September 28, 2023

How business leaders can remove a culture of overtime

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Shreya Christina
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In an effort to start and continuously run a business, there is a tendency of both leaders and employees to work themselves to the bone. And while these efforts can often lead to success, they also put undue pressure on people to give their all for the company, even at the expense of their mental health, leisure and quality time with loved ones.

Maintaining a successful business may require sacrifices, but there are steps leaders can take to reduce the number of concessions the team has to make in the best interests of the business. Below 14 members of Business Council each part one concrete action leaders can take to remove a culture of overwork from the workplace.

1. Set clear boundaries and expectations

To help prevent a corporate culture of overtime, it’s important to set boundaries and expectations accordingly. Establish a policy for out of work emails or calls after a certain hour or on certain days. When an employee is on leave for vacation, illness or personal leave, he must really be on leave and disconnected. Leaders must be the first to show this and abide by the same rules. – Johan Hajjic, Top Key

2. Be a champion for your team

You have to be a champion for the talent in your team. It’s not just resources that need to be moved to fit a workforce plan; they are brilliant, talented and gifted individuals who can deliver like no other, because that’s why you hired them. So invest in them and keep them motivated with training, time to think and by taking enough time to deliver on the promise you have made on their behalf. – Andrew Dunbar Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

3. Lead by example

Leaders can share their own personal strategies for work-life balance and lead by example. When your actions show your team that you take time off, spend time with family, value your own health and prioritize balance, it creates a culture where other team members feel comfortable doing the same. – Sonia Gupta MD, Change healthcare

4. Limit off-hour messages

Stop creating urgency that isn’t there. Don’t send employees text messages or emails that require an immediate response when it’s their time off. If you do need to send them a note late in the day, start by saying it’s not urgent and the tasks can be done when they get back to the office. This is an easy step to ensure the right work-life balance for your team. – Sherry Taylor, Office depot

5. Evaluate the need for attendance requirements

Overtime and face-time requirements are common in nonprofit work and fundraising. There are also many evening and after-hours commitments. It is important to evaluate whether attending events outside office hours will help advance the organization’s mission and goals. Sometimes it’s important to show up. Other times it’s just as good, if not better, to send a note or get in touch after the event. – Stephanie Schwartz, Little Bean group

6. Look at the whole picture

Think of the whole person, not just the ‘worker’. The changing analysis of how people define and measure career and success activities, among other things, has focused both leadership and teams on culture. The concept of work-life balance can be challenging due to the construction that “work is just work, and then there’s everything else” and that if you focus on one, you take away the other. – Gregory Roll, Touchpoint employees

7. Consider current benefits and offers

I think the idea of ​​”unlimited vacation” is interesting, and this benefit has become popular with tech companies. I think if someone is producing and meeting their quarterly goals, they should be able to take regular time off. I also feel that most people only feel overworked when they are undervalued or underpaid. Just show appreciation and compensate accordingly. – Ryan Lucia, Such n Such media

8. Emphasize the importance of balance

Emphasize the importance of a work-life balance and the time employees spend with their families. People are more productive when they feel valued and when their personal time is valued. For example, let employees know that they are not expected to answer emails on weekends or during their free time. They also need to recharge and refresh – and they appreciate that. – Adam Povlitz, Anago cleaning systems

9. Remember what’s important

This was me until the day my son was born. I was putting in crazy hours and expecting my team to do the same. Now I prioritize being offline at 6pm every night and being home with my family. My team saw this change and followed suit, and I couldn’t be more proud. We all have priorities outside of the office, and now my team feels comfortable signing out of work and life. I should have done this years ago. – Chase Flashman, ShipSigma

10. Create Leadership Commitment to Employees posts

Burnout isn’t an option, and being okay isn’t enough. Anchor this powerful message in your culture by communicating it in every team meeting or forum and giving people space to express their feelings. Be coherent with your message by implementing actions that support it, such as regular check-ins with teams or giving everyone a mental health day every quarter. – Karim Zuhric, Cascade strategy

11. Prioritize Mental Health

Mental health is a crucial point in leading. The horrors of stress on the body are well documented. Setting an example of taking time to manage stress effectively with responsibility and an appropriate workload helps. Leading by example gives this priority to teams to follow suit and make their voices heard when there is a need for adaptation, while leadership is also interested in team morale and cues for help. – Paul L. Gunn, KUOG Corporation

12. Set a schedule for notifications and communication

Set quiet operating hours. Whether it’s a Slack or Teams ping or an email notification, these sounds can be traumatizing after hours. Set the standard that internal communication can only take place within a certain time frame. One person’s need to work into the wee hours doesn’t have to affect the entire team. It can wait. – Deyman Doolittle, ShipSigma

13. Set up a system to cover work

As a leader, it is critical to appoint a backup team member to jump in on a project when someone has a personal emergency. This way, that team member can deal with that emergency effectively, knowing that the work needed is being done. Here at The Bid Lab, we always provide backup team members to cover any role so our customers never see interruptions if and when employee emergencies arise! – Maurice Harary, The prayer lab

14. Integrate responsibility and flexibility into the culture

Create a culture of responsibility and flexibility. That may seem like a paradox, but when team members take their roles into their own hands and are given the flexibility to work remotely or exercise their unlimited PTO advantage, they are happier. What you reward is what wins, so measure performance around results versus bonus desk time. Make sure “busy” isn’t a badge of honor in your office. – Tyler Christiansen, Cooker


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