Why reporting OT hours is important – A Lesson I learnt from my mom

When I was young, I got a fixed weekly allowance. I was expected to do my chores of cleaning, laundry, grocery runs, et al, But, no matter how good or bad I was, whether I helped mom with the dishes or not, I would get that allowance and I would not be asked how I spend it or ever be threatened that you would not get it. You would think I was not motivated to do my household chores, but you’re wrong… Every school year my allowance went up slightly and I was allowed to marginally negotiate for my allowance. So, I grew up in an environment where I was an Exempt employee.

As I was growing up, I kept a journal and on the last page of the journal was the year’s calendar. I gave myself a star everyday I went overboard to help mom. During my appraisal, I would count my stars and remind mom of the incidents when the stars happened. She remembered all the black stars, so am sure she had a journal of her own đŸ™‚ Turns out I was mostly a star employee of my mom and used to work much more than expected and it helped with my annual raise or she was not maintaining her journal well enough. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of maintaining a quick record of any extra time spent on doing my normal job duties.

Organizations similarly have a dilemma on how to deal with the hours their Exempt employees spend more than their weekly expectation because they have their eye set on the Performance Rating, Raise and Bonus ($$$). More often than you would expect, I have seen employees and employers not care about how many hours Exempt employees report on their timesheets. Employee doesn’t care because they’ll get paid the fixed amount he’s supposed to be paid. Employers don’t care for the sane reasons.

This behavior on both ends needs to change… ASAP !!!

For the Employee – During performance review, this is one less thing to keep track of. Imagine while filling your performance rating, you attach a a weekly bar graph of all hours worked with a full explanation on reasons for overtime and the amount of extra time spent on training the newbie. You would come across as professional, organized and the next candidate for promotion. It will help you become a better Leader.

For the Manager– The employer on the other hand benefits by reviewing overtime put in by employees in 2 ways – assess the particular employee’s productivity and appraisal by comparing against similar employees; and assess if the manager needs to budget an additional resource for the next year.

For the Organization– Productivity measurement is important at an organization level to measure Project’s Forecasts. Productivity also flows into proposals so that estimators can do their job accurately and get business for the project. In case employees don’t accurately report hours, pre-sales will keep putting proposals together in which employees will keep doing overtime to meet project commitments in future.

More often than not, employees don’t have an idea if their hours are billable or not. Even if they are on a milestone billing project,  there could be a couple of roles getting billed on rate based. By not reporting hours accurately, the employee could be making the company lose money.

In a nut-shell, it should be mandatory for employees to report their OT hours from an organization standpoint, which, if the employee wants to use for career grown has a hidden benefit for the employee.

But, wait a minute…

How the heck does any of the above tie with ERP? Well, this blog is just a prelude to the main blog How to Distribute Overtime Labor cost of Exempt employees – Story of a joint family coming shortly!!! Check back tomorrow…

Enjoy learning and sharing… And don’t forget to leave a comment below.

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