It is quite easy to spot when employees waste too much time on small talk and non-productive things.
On the other hand, it is not always noticeable when employees or even managers are overloaded with work.
What do I mean when I say overloaded?
That means, that even if they focus their assigned hours mainly on work, they minimize distraction, and they take normal acceptable breaks, they cannot accomplish their assignments in a timely manner.
The impact of being overburden for longer periods of time is increase in stress and overwhelm feelings. That leads to the individual becoming less engaged in what they need to accomplish, and possibly display a negative attitude toward their surrounding.
The first managerial thought that comes to mind is: they should manage their time better.
But, before you sign them up to take a time management class, let’s consider some other alternatives.
What could indicate if they truly have too much on their plate?
Here are some red flags. Some are simply facts. Others could be a sense you have on how things are going for your employees.
- Not able to show a significant progress on any of the items responsible for within reasonable time frame
- Does not remember immediately the status of the top three initiatives/projects under his supervision
- Paperwork piles around them in an increasing rate
- Begins to feel like they cannot keep up with the pace
- Gets frustrated or argumentative when anything is added to his/her To-Do list
- Stops asking clarifying questions. They don’t feel like they can do anything about it anyway.
- Stops taking care of oneself
- Looks/feels tired on a continual basis
It is important to understand that the more behavioral signals you observe, the stronger is your indication that it’s time to review and make adjustments to handling the work load.
What Is The Personal Story?
Some of these red flags on their own are good enough of a reason to touch base with an employee one-on-one and to ask some clarifying questions. Something may be going on in their personal life that affects their productivity.
Acknowledging what they go through, while motivating them to focus on the bigger picture of the business and their career, may bring some change in their attitude and eventually in their results and in ability to contribute to the workplace.
And at the same time, if you uncover a temporary personal issue, you may want to divert some of the workload to another employee. Being perceived as a fair employer buys you loyalty points.
What if this is a bigger issue?
It’s important to distinguish between having a temporary issue that requires some overtime from an ongoing phenomena, were employees feel constant
Rises and dips in incoming work volume is normal. Sometimes it could be more hectic than other times, and as a result your team may need to put in here and there some extra effort.
With that being said, when your employees’ plate is time and again overflowing, it’s time for an effective leader to ask:
- Do I acknowledge and praise their effort to ensure they stay engaged?
- Do I compensate them appropriately, so they would not take a hike?
- Do I have an effective distribution of the workload?
- Is it time to expand my resources and hire additional P/T or F/T employee?
If you are having a challenge in adjusting the workload between your employees, or you are not sure what would be the most effective expansion of your workforce, speak with an expert of The Round Well.
Call us at (732)385-1522 to schedule a free consultation.