Most of your employees have second jobs.

Quite the grand statement, and my guess is you are disputing it and thinking, "Not at my company."

But my experience is that almost every employee commits to doing something specific at a specific time during their off hours.

Many are paid, such as mowing cemeteries or refereeing a basketball game. Some are unpaid such as volunteering for a local charity.

Often, employers discourage second jobs, and may even ban outside employment in their personnel policy manual. The thought is any commitment that makes an employee unavailable in case you need them is a bad thing. And if their loyalty to the other "employer" is strong, they might have to miss time with you.

In fact, there are usually limitations in medical plan insurance for injuries or illnesses that are the result of another paid employment.

The issue of second jobs is one that doesn't get a lot of attention in management circles because most employers don't really want to talk about it. They want the employee's complete dedication.

Second jobs seem to fall into two categories: money-related or passion.

Sometimes, your employee just needs additional income to accommodate the lifestyle into which they have settled. The employment could be pure random such as working at a fast-food restaurant three nights a week. Or, it could be professionally related, such as my dad who was a textile engineer by weekday, but then took his knowledge and worked as a salesperson at a fabric store on Thursday nights and Saturdays.

Often, however, your employee is working another position due to their love for that commitment. I think of the youth volunteers at my church who dedicate their time to the kids. I think of members of athletic booster clubs who tirelessly flip hamburgers to raise money in support of their child's interest.

I am a staunch supporter of employees who have outside interests above and beyond my clients' organizations. To me, it makes them more of a caring person, which in turn makes them a better employee. And that far outweighs the few times of inconvenience.

Besides, it is also my experience that by supporting your employees in their personal lives, those same employees will bend over backwards to support you and your organization when you really need them.

Randy Fox, SHRM, SCP, SPHR, is founder and senior partner of Capstone HR Services, Inc.

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