How to Prevent Moonlighting – Satisfaction in the Workplace

Moonlighting amongst employers is a common occurrence in the modern-day workplace. There can be a variety of reasons why this is happening depending on the wants and/or needs of your company employees.

Whether an employee is moonlighting to make extra money for their household, test out a different job profile, find more recognition in the workplace, or take the time for their own personal start-up business, there are steps you as an employer can make to raise the satisfaction of company employees and decreasing the amount of moonlighting in the workplace.

It all begins by taking a look at the foundation of your company and ultimately shaping a company culture that your employees can relate to, and love. However, it all starts by fully understanding the types of moonlighting and what you as an employer can do to eliminate it.

Company Culture – It Helps Prevent Moonlighting

Types of Moonlighting

Did you know there are actually four different types of moonlighting?

Blue Moon –

Depending on the different performance appraisal procedures, employers implement them either annually or every six months. Employees who aren’t happy with their scheduled increments start looking for a secondary job to increase income but rarely get a positive results from their efforts.

Quarter Moon –

If you’re employee is not currently satisfied with their salary, they will search for a secondary, part-time job for additional job after their regular job.

Half Moon –

Employees who imagine themselves living a luxurious life tend to spend more than what they actually earn, or save a large amount of money in support of future endeavors like starting a new business. These sort of employees tend to spend half of their time working their second job, instead of the regular job.

Full Moon –

For those who are highly influenced by family members, friends, and society, a mental pressure tends to build up about personal differences, leaving the employee looking for a secondary income. This will usually result in the employee finding a full-time second job or even their own business.

Believe it or not, there are both positive and negative effects of moonlighting in the workplace depending on how you confront the situation. And, if you as the employer play your cards right, you can still have an extremely happy employee who works a secondary, part-time job while under your employment, that’s still dedicated to your company’s mission and goals.

The Ups & Downs of Moonlighting

The Positives of Moonlighting

Moonlighting can have many positive and negative effects around the workplace for both the employee and the employer. For instance, moonlighting can greatly increase the technical skills of an employee and these skills are usually swapped between both the primary and secondary jobs.

Also, the naturally progressive aspect of moonlighting tends to give employees a higher retention rate with their primary jobs as they are actively increasing their incomes, bettering their lifestyles, and can often see instant results of their efforts which results in an overall increase of happiness in the workplace with fellow employees.

However, with the positives also come the negatives.

The Negatives of Moonlighting

Due to the nature of moonlighting, the employee is often overworked therefore will require more days off due to vacation and sick leave. Employers should also be aware of the tendency for employees to steal confidential information.

For instance, if the primary company offers services at a set rate and a potential client says it’s out of their budget, the employee could scoop up that lost client as their own for a discounted price, effectively stealing the primary employer’s business. This sort of exploitation could easily harm employers (as well as the business) of both primary and secondary jobs.

Managing Moonlighting in the Workplace

It’s important to build a good atmosphere between you as the employer and your employees around the workplace. Such a relationship will not only result in a higher retention rate of employees, it will also assist in lowering the amount of employees moonlighting.

Take a look at the following ways you can help manage moonlighting in the workplace, create a happy atmosphere, and ultimately build a winning team from the ground up.

Encourage Company Outings

Company outings such as company retreats, dinners, seminars, and happy hours (amongst many other things) can greatly increase the happiness of employees, effectively decreasing the rate of moonlighting in the workplace. And it doesn’t have to be all play; although as you imagine, this would help tremendously.

Focus your company outings around quarterly meetings where you have a healthy mix of both work and play. Such investments will not only increase employee happiness, it will encourage your employees to lessen workplace gossip and build personal relationships outside of the office building so that they can get to know each other outside of the regular 9-5.

Give Regular Employee Recognition

Don’t forget to recognize your employee when they’ve done something correctly as this is extremely important in creating a positive atmosphere around the office. And relax, you don’t have to purchase a trophy or throw a pizza party every time someone has done something correctly, just some simple words of acknowledgement will do.

Are you finding that your employee is doing something good, but not quite up-to-par of where you’d like them to be? Then use the sandwich approach when giving them advice. All this means is to give a compliment about their work, then say what you would like improved, and give another compliment.

Sure, your employees will most likely see right through it, but at least they know you’re trying the best you can to stay positive and make them happy!

Create Team-Building Exercises

Team building exercise (such as company sports softball, basketball, or dodgeball leagues) are perfect for employers to start implementing amongst their employees. It helps strengthens core aspects within your team including communication, commitment, collaboration, and culture.

Eliminate the Need for a Second Job

Often, the reason for employees to begin moonlighting is simply because they need more money to support their family and/or reach personal goals, amongst other things.

If the employee has proved themselves to be a valuable asset to your company, then you may want to consider investing in the allegiance to your company by giving them an annual bonus or raise. This works fantastically around the holiday seasons when money is needed most.

Simply sit down and find out why the employee is at a lack of funds and, if you can manage to do so, assist where you can.

Support Your Employee’s Decision!

It’s often the case that employee’s begin moonlighting with the intention of only working their secondary job part-time or temporarily to achieve personal goals in their lives (such as saving money to pay off debt, go on family vacation, etc).

However, many employers look at moonlighting with a negative condonation; often forgetting that this is the case. When all’s said and done, always support your employees decision and this practice will ultimately lead to a good word of mouth about you as an employer, resulting in a higher quality of employees walking in your door later down the road.

What do you do to help prevent moonlighting in the workplace?