Employees need greater clarity of expectations

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Kiwi employees are working longer hours and shouldering heavier workloads, while the type of work being undertaken is changing, a new into employment trends has found.

The latest report from global talent solutions company Hudson found that:

  • Over 30% of the employees surveyed are work more than 51 hours per week, and more than a quarter (26.2%) said they are working longer hours than they were a year ago.
  • The workload of over half of the employees surveyed has increased over the past year, largely due to more projects (72.1%), greater demand from customers (51.2%) and decreased team sizes (21.5%).

Many businesses are ‘flying while they build the plane’, Roman Rogers from Hudson New Zealand said. “Balancing business as usual and project commitments can be tricky because, while employees are exposed to great work and opportunities, they are working harder and longer. Many employees are prepared to do this, but there is often not much, if any, downtime between projects to recharge which can lead to burnout.”

There is an increased risk of employee burnout if projects are not managed effectively and, in fact, 29.6% of employers are already experiencing increased employee burnout, he said. “Better clarity around role and delivery expectations is a key way to address this problem… Employers also need to think about what they are trying to achieve and what blend of skills and behaviours they need to be successful.”

Often, fewer people are doing a broader range of tasks and the work is less specialised so employees need to be agile, adaptable, resilient and open to change, Roman said. “Employers should test for these skills during recruitment – rather than focusing on a candidate’s technical skills which are not an effective indicator of high performance. Putting a person in a role when they don’t have the right motivational and behavioural attributes causes stress for both employer and employee.”

Every hire is an investment, so it is important to invest in an effective, consistent recruitment process that goes beyond reviewing technical skills and reference checking, he added. “Be clear about what constitutes success in a role and which skills, competencies and behaviours are needed, and recruit on that basis if you you’re your business and teams to be successful.”


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