Counting the toll of discretionary effort

Counting the toll of discretionary effort

Discretionary effort. For some of us that's the ultimate measure of employee engagement (or is it?). If someone really loves their job they'll work harder, smarter and longer - everybody wins, right?

Not according to a recent study by the TUC which "accuses employers of an "over-reliance" on the generosity of their workers."

The article on Sky News sums up the situation quite succinctly, so that's the one I'll share: click here to read it.

The article has some great snippets, including:

- It said public sector employees accounted for 25% of total workers but produced almost 40% of all unpaid overtime.

- While chief executives were found to be the biggest losers, the report found teachers and other learning professionals were the next group to do the most outside their usual hours.

- The TUC's assistant General secretary said, "But expecting employees to work above and beyond the call of duty, day in day out, is simply not on"


Do you think discretionary effort is a good measure of engagement? Is that ethical?

Do you work above and beyond on purpose or does it happen by accident that you end up working longer than you are contracted to?


There is a little bit more to read on this page too, including a tool to calculate how much you would earn if you got paid for any above and beyond hours:


I can't find the actual report though. If anyone can, please share.

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Gary is The Professional Development Community Manager

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