We all know the economy is tough and money is tight. But what do you do when your employees come to you and ask if they can take on a second job to make ends meet? It's a difficult situation, but there are ways to make it work without compromising your business.
In fact, if you're an employer, it can actually work in your favour—but only if you ask your employees to be transparent with you from day one. But more on that later…
Let's explore the pros and cons of your employees holding second jobs, and some tips on how to make it work in your favour.
The Pros of sharing your workforce
There are actually many advantages to sharing your workforce with another employer.
The first, and most obvious one, is that you're enabling your employees to increase their income at a time when you can't pay them more. This can be beneficial for both parties—the employee gets a much-needed financial boost (thereby allowing them to focus better at work) and you get to keep a good employee who might otherwise have had to leave. This in turn avoids business disruption, dips in team morale and much, much more.
Sharing your workforce can also help to improve morale within your company. When employees see that you're willing to work with them to help them meet their goals, they'll be more likely to feel appreciated and valued. This can lead to increased productivity and loyalty, both of which are good for business.
Finally, sharing your workforce can actually help you to save money. If you have employees who are only working part-time, you may be able to get by with fewer full-time employees (and the associated benefits costs). This can free up money to invest in other areas of your business.
The Cons of sharing your workforce
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to your employees having a second job.
One of the biggest is that employees could become overworked and exhausted, which could lead to errors, accidents, and absences from work. It's important to be mindful of this when sharing your workforce, and to make sure employees are given ample time to rest and recover between shifts.
Another potential downside is that sharing your workforce can make it difficult to enforce company policy. If you have strict rules about things like social media or internet usage, it can be hard to enforce them when employees are working for another company. This can be a particular problem if the other company has different (and less strict) rules.
Another potential disadvantage is that your company's culture may suffer. If most of your employees are working second jobs, they may be less likely to socialise with each other or participate in company events. This can make it difficult to build a strong team culture.
You also need to be aware of the potential for conflict of interest. If your employees are working for a competitor, they may be tempted to share confidential information or give your company's secrets away.
Finally, if an employee does leave one of their jobs, it could cause significant disruption for both employers.
How to make it work
Despite the potential disadvantages, there are ways to make sharing your workforce work for both parties.
1) Define the rules up front.
Before an employee starts working two jobs, it's important to sit down and define the ground rules. What are your expectations? What is off-limits? What are the consequences for breaking the rules? By being clear about your expectations from the start, you can help avoid potential problems later on.
2) Establish clear boundaries between the two employers.
Make sure employees understand what is considered acceptable use of company property (e.g., laptop, car) and what is not. This will help avoid any misuse of company resources.
3) Set up a system for monitoring hours.
If you have employees who are working two jobs, it's important to set up a system for monitoring their hours. This will help you ensure that they are not working too many hours and that they are getting adequate rest.
You may have to adjust your expectations too. For example, if an employee is working another job in the evenings, they may not be able to stay late or work weekends if needed. This can be frustrating, but it's important to remember that you're still getting their full-time hours during the week.
Employees should not feel overworked or stretched thin – otherwise they will quickly become disgruntled and might even leave one or both jobs as a result. If possible, try to stagger shift patterns so employees have some down time in between jobs. Additionally, be aware of any major projects or deadlines that might be coming up so you can plan accordingly.
4) Communicate regularly.
When you have employees who are working two jobs, communication is key. Schedule regular check-ins so that you can stay up-to-date on how things are going and address any concerns that may arise.
5) Consider flex working arrangements.
If sharing your workforce is proving to be a challenge, you may want to consider offering flex working arrangements. This could involve allowing employees to work from home or changing their hours so that they can better juggle their two jobs.
6) Offer support and guidance.
If an employee is struggling to manage two jobs, offer support and guidance. This could involve helping them to develop a plan or providing resources that can make their life easier. Remember, it's in your best interests to help employees succeed – after all, if they're happy, they're more likely to stay with your company.
If your employees come to you asking if they can take on a second job, it's a difficult situation. However, there are ways to make it work without compromising your business. By being open to the idea and working with your employees, you can create a win-win situation for everyone involved.
After more advice, get in touch with Lodge Court today.