What should employers do when they find out workers are moonlighting somewhere else?

stock-photo-lifestyle-transport-communic-2317382 (1)-292142-editedResearch has shown a number of employees are working a second job.

Five percent of Germany’s labor force were reportedly working two jobs to make a living in 2014, a 13 percent increase from three years prior, according to a Financial Times article. In the U.S., 2016 research from Indeed indicated more than 33 percent of full-time workers had additional part-time jobs.

More than half, according to the site, were doing it to keep up with the cost of living. Roughly 14 percent sought additional employment to explore a new career.

In Australia, 61 percent of workers paired a part-time job with another job in 2015, according to the 2017 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. A number were working two part-time jobs instead of one full-time one because it helped them achieve more income.

Second jobs may be popular with employees; they can, however, create a challenging scenario for employers.

If the work an employee is doing for another employer is similar to the tasks the individual performs at your organization, there could be a conflict of interest; employers understandably don’t want team members giving out confidential information or providing services to competitors.

Working two jobs can also be tiring. Employees who add night and weekend shifts on top of their nine-to-five duties may suffer from fatigue, potentially reducing their productivity and general level of enthusiasm when they’re at their day job.

Companies that find employees are pursuing outside work may want to take the following items under consideration:

Offering temporary or more permanent flex scheduling

If employees intend to continue working for another employer for an extended time period, giving employees a chance to alter their hours may help them avoid becoming so exhausted their job performance is affected. Ninety-seven percent of professionals, in fact, feel a role with flexibility would have a positive impact on their overall quality of life, according to a FlexJobs survey.

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Revisiting employee salaries and satisfaction

Are staff members working a second job because you’re not paying a fair market wage? You may want to review your salary policy and benchmark what you currently offer against what other companies in your industry pay. For tips on determining what workplace amenities and salary other organizations offer, view our blog post on sizing up the talent competition.

Verifying you’re providing a supportive office environment

If you’re concerned employees are taking on a second job because they’re trying to make contacts to enhance their chances of landing a new full-time job, in addition to salary, re-examine your company culture. Employees who work within a human-focused work culture are two times more likely to feel they can grow within an organization, according to a 2017 Globoforce survey, and 41 percent are more likely to feel their work has meaning.

If you’re paying a fair salary and offering a positive work experience, don’t panic; an employee may be moonlighting for a specific reason that’s unrelated — saving to buy a new home, for example, or trying to pay off college loans — and the situation may only be temporary.

Working two jobs, for instance, is often a short-term scenario for Australian employees. HILDA results indicate for most of the 14-year timeframe covered in its report, more than half of Australians did not have a second job the year after they’d worked for more than one employer.

Regional and other protocols may dictate how employers can (or can’t) respond if they find out an employee is working a second job; it’s best to confirm what regulations exist and check any written policies the company may have to see if that’s the case.

For pointers on keeping employees enthused about their job, view our blog posts on 4 ways company pride can invigorate engagement, 5 foolproof ways to increase productivity and techniques to disarm your most engaged employees.

If you’re concerned employees may be seeking out additional employment because your work environment isn’t as strong as it could be, our posts on how to determine what employees want that you’re not providing and getting your company culture mojo back can help.

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