Employees Staying Back Extra Hours – Impressive? Oh, Behave!!!


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Nearly 40% of workers have stayed back at the office to impress their boss! Over a quarter (26%) say they consistently work longer days than are actually needed to do their job effectively. That’s according to a new report by officebroker.com.

In other words, lots of people are simply putting the hours in because they think it’s what they should be doing! (The reality is that many aren’t doing much in those ‘extra’ hours!)

Apparently employees were found to be most likely to stay longer at work when a pay review was imminent, a new boss had been appointed or redundancies had been announced. It’s not particularly surprising, but it does reinforce the ‘myth’ in many organisations that ‘working long hours’ is the key, and lots of them seem to reinforce and even ‘reward’ this!

I believe that forward thinking businesses create and develop ‘committed, motivated, and effective people at every level of the business – no mention of ‘long hours’!

Of course there are times when we have to ‘put those hours in’, but if that is THE defining factor, and that is what’s rewarded, then that’s what you get! The focus needs to be on the ‘outcomes’ and particularly on the ‘behaviours’ you want from your people to achieve these outcomes! It comes back to the whole issue of establishing what we call an UBER culture!

Our research suggests that the key ingredients of an UBER culture are:

  • Everyone Understands what’s expected of them and behaves accordingly and consistently as a result
  • Systems and processes are Built to reinforce those Behaviours
  • People are Engaged, Empowered and Encouraged to deliver them
  • People are Rewarded and Recognised for doing it!

So, ‘Rewarding’ and ‘Recognising’ people simply for working long hours means that you get…. surprise, surprise…. people working long hours (but not necessarily ‘delivering the goods’!) It’s called ‘presenteeism’ and if that’s what people think is important, that’s what they do!

Winning businesses make it clear what’s expected and what’s important – a great example of a business that does these things ‘Dramatically Differently’, is Sheffield’s own WANdisco who don’t do any clockwatching at all – they allow their employees to have as much time off as they’d like!

What Behaviours do you ‘Reward’ and ‘Recognise’ in your organisation?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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