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Identify & Control 3 Costly Types of Overtime in Senior Care

March 28, 2015 | Brad Gaul

Overtime is tied to excessive costs What comes to mind when you think of overtime? Is it one of those scary things that you avoid talking about? With budgets tightening due to increasing costs across the board, you’re certainly not alone if you feel this way. Plus, you’re in luck…because there’s a way to tame that beast we call overtime.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves - we know that overtime is expensive, but did you know that there are different contributing factors to overtime costs?  In fact, there are three types of overtime costs that communities can tie excessive costs back to; scheduled overtime, incremental overtime and frictional overtime:

1. Scheduled Overtime:
Scheduled overtime might be the easiest of this trio to discover, since it is often built right into existing schedules or included as a promise to a prospective employee to advertise a higher-paying job. Excessive scheduled overtime is often the result of being short-staffed, but poor scheduling practices can also exacerbate the problems.

2. Incremental Overtime:
Incremental overtime can be easy to manage once it is discovered. It results from employees purposely (or accidentally) punching-in early or punching-out late from scheduled work times. While these fractional amounts of time seem small, costs add up quickly when the minutes are multiplied across numerous employees and several incidents.

3. Frictional Overtime:
Frictional overtime is the most common and most visible form of overtime, but it’s also the most difficult to directly control. It occurs when a staff member calls in sick, or does not show up for a scheduled shift, leaving managers rushing for coverage without a pre-existing backup plan in place.

Luckily, technology can help manage and monitor overtime costs. Overtime is commonly managed simply by checking payroll reports, when it’s too late to correct the problem. OnShift Schedule’s predictive approach alerts schedulers when they’re scheduling an employee who will go into overtime, helps you track punch overages, and allows you to quickly fill open shifts with qualified employees who won't go into overtime. With this, the mess of inflated and mysterious overtime costs, once considered to be the cost of doing business, becomes more efficient and manageable.

This means you can worry less about the schedule and more about maintaining employee engagement and satisfaction; and you’re not burning away budget dollars on what should be a much more controllable expense.

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About Brad Gaul

Brad Gaul is Coordinator of Retention and Renewals on OnShift's Customer Success team.

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