The era of the two-job employee (let us call him “Sam”) has emerged as a result of the global recession. Sam is a new breed who developed entrepreneurial survival skills to battle the recession, and learned how find and keep a second job.
You, the employer, do not need to be too alarmed if Sam takes on a second job as a baker, or a mechanic, because this would require Sam to be physically present at that location. However the situation is more complicated if Sam takes on a second job that he can do from any remote location.
Suppose that Sam takes on a consulting project to do bookkeeping, or write code for a website, or maybe even develop a training program, how do you think that Sam’s productivity will be affected at your work place?
Our research indicates that 7 out of 10 entrepreneurial-employees will take their new projects or supplemental jobs more seriously than their existing jobs. This behavior is not surprising because the thrill and the novelty of consulting project is far greater, and the additional income increases the motivation factor.
The alarming part is that all of these employees will use your time and your resources to execute their consulting project, and if you consider the employee’s salary to be an investment, then your ROI is being reduced.
Unfortunately there is no way to restrict Sam, however you can put policies in place to manage Sam. Aside from restricting access to non-work related websites, you can use web tools such as ODesk to monitor Sam’s work.
The wise thing to do is discuss the second job with the employee and ask the employee how his added work load will affect his performance at your workplace. Also offer to reduce the employee’s hours (and a corresponding decrease in salary), if the employee thinks that he would like some more time to complete his consulting project. The employee is not likely to take this offer, but you have set the tone so that loss of productivity at your workplace will be minimized.
You should adjust your course of action depending on the nature of the work that Sam does at your work place. If Sam is an integral part of your work environment then more emphasis should be put on task completion and delivery. However if Sam is not an integral part of your work environment, then a replacement or succession strategy should be considered.
The era of Sam is here to stay, and only time and experience will show us the best ways to manage Sam.