Eliminating the scourge of overtime requires businesses to do more to drive workplace efficiency, says Colin Whelan, Principal WFO Solutions Consultant at Aspect Software
More effective management of the workforce through technology – especially during the festive period – will help ensure excessive overtime is the exception rather than the norm
For many businesses, paid overtime is very much part and parcel of the organisation and how it operates. However, excessive amounts of overtime payments can be a scourge on a company’s bottom line and must be minimised wherever possible. According to Aspect Software, solving this problem requires businesses to manage their workforces more effectively through the use of technology, especially with the busy Christmas period now in full swing.
While overtime has its advantages in helping to address short-term labour shortages and giving staff flexibility in their working schedules, it can become extremely difficult to deal with if it is left to get out of control, with some companies spending millions of pounds every year on overtime payments.
According to Colin Whelan, Principal WFO Solutions Consultant at Aspect, excessive overtime points to efficiency and organisational problems that need to be addressed.
Colin said: “Giving workers the option to extend beyond their allotted hours is positive in that it gives workers a little bit of extra control over the way they work, and makes sure that companies have a buffer in place so that they always have cover in the busiest times.
“But if an organisation is spending huge amounts on paying staff for overtime and is relying on it as a means of getting by, there are issues with the way the workforce is being managed that are being swept under the carpet. Around peak periods of activity such as Christmas, when workers in many industries are likely to work extra hours, it’s even more important that businesses aren’t shelling out too much money paying staff for extra hours.”
To help remedy the problem of out-of-control overtime, Colin believes that time and effort need to be invested into working out how to better plan employee schedules and increase efficiency across the workplace. This is where cloud-based workforce management (WFM) software can make a difference.
He added: “Technology has a leading role to play in driving efficiencies and streamlining processes across all areas of the organisation, and workforce planning is no different. Rather than relying on outdated legacy systems or manual staff management processes, embracing modern WFM tech eases the challenges attached to accurately planning and forecasting staff requirements. The fact that it is cloud-based also enables easy updating of any software, and means it can be scaled up or down according to the needs of the business.
“If implemented in the right way, technology such as WFM can be transformational in the way the schedules of employees are governed, and how future workloads are planned. This means that worker morale remains high due to their shift schedules being accurately planned and communicated, while overtime costs are significantly cut and money is freed up to drive the wider goals of the company.”
He concluded: “Smashing the scourge of overtime is a challenge, but the means to beat it are very much available. By embracing tech, businesses can make sure that their all-important bottom line isn’t hampered by too much overtime, both at Christmas and well into the new year and beyond.”
Aspect helps enterprises break down the walls between people, processes, systems and data sources, allowing organizations to unite around the customer journey. By developing fully native interaction management, workforce optimisation and self-service capabilities within a single customer engagement centre, we enable dynamic, conversational interactions and create a truly frictionless omni-channel customer experience. Leveraging the agility of our worldwide cloud infrastructure and over 40 years of industry ingenuity, Aspect conveniently and easily connects questions to answers while helping enterprises keep service levels high and operational costs contained.