How to Support Your Employee’s Side Hustle
As a manager, you might instinctively feel concerned when an employee mentions to you that they are engaged in work outside of their 9 to 5. Perhaps you think that their side hustle will distract them from their ‘main’ job. Perhaps you worry that their side hustle might result in them leaving the company. However, these concerns should be dismissed.
A full 25% of workers in the UK have some kind of side hustle, as casual ways to earn additional income become more and more commonplace and normalized. Good management is all about investing in your employees with trust. You should be able to feel like you can support and empower your employees with all of their outside pursuits.
The alternative is that you do not do this and risk alienating your most talented workers and having your fear become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In 2020, side hustles are a fact of life, so you should get on board and support your employees when they disclose that they are seeking or performing outside work, as long as you don’t think it will impact on their day job. Here are some simple ways to support your employee’s side hustle.
Keep Their Best Interests at Heart
When enquiring about an employee’s side hustle, it is important to centre your concerns around their best interests. Ask what kind of work they are performing and the kind of hours they are putting in. Remember, working time directives exist for a reason. It is important to make sure that their side hustle is not going to result in burnout. Any issues you might have should be approached from this position. On a more positive note, make sure to ask what kind of skills they are learning from their side hustle and how they can bring that to their 9 to 5 job.
Ensure Their Side Hustle is Right for Them
As a HR manager, your role of duty and care to your employees extends beyond the office. If they are actively seeking a side hustle that you know will not interfere with their main job, then offer your own business expertise and advice to ensure they perform side work that is right for them and not exploitative. For example, if they are considering taking up financial trading in their spare time, which is one of the most common side hustles in the UK, you can direct them towards professional CFD broker reviews that will connect them with the right resources and prevent them from being ripped off. Showing that you care enough to help them with their side hustle will go a long way to establishing long-term trust.
Determine Whether Their Side Hustle Represents a Competition Issue
Of course, there are moments when an employee’s side hustle could demand interventions. Besides the obvious issues of distraction and burnout, there is also the issue of competition. If your employee has taken up a side hustle with a competitor company, you will need to take action. That employee might be in breach of their contract, especially if there is a specific non-compete clause in place. When an employee’s side hustle represents a direct threat to your company’s interests, it is time to calmly and professionally explain why this is an issue. You can, of course, direct them towards side hustles that do not represent a competition issue. More importantly, you should ask why they are seeking a side hustle in the first place and see if it is something you can resolve in-house.
These simple tips will help you support your employees in a world where side hustles are an increasingly common fact of life.