Can You Tell if Your Team is Overworked?
Are you noticing signs around the office that your team is restless or dissatisfied? They may be exhibiting behavior that demonstrates stress, such as short tempers or excessive sick days. They may be missing important deadlines or unable to work with coworkers effectively. All of these are signs that your staff is overworked. Once you begin to recognize these signs, it’s critical that you step in and do something about it. Here are some tips to help you alleviate stress in the workplace.
- Improve communications. The easiest place to start is to review your communication style. How do you share important information? Do you send generic emails to the entire staff? What if there is a disagreement? Do you call a meeting and tell everyone that the behavior isn’t tolerated when the discussion only applies to one or two individuals. Do you have long meetings that make your team feel like they’re missing out on productive time? Now is a good time to review your style and make improvements.
- Demonstrate gratitude. Do you say “thank you,” when a team member accomplishes a task? You may feel that gratitude is unnecessary when they should just do their jobs, but saying thank you can help boost engagement. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Thank you team regularly and provide recognition when someone goes above and beyond the scope of their duties.
- Reduce stress. Stress is a leading causes of health complications such as heart disease. When your team is overworked, stress is inevitable. But it is preventable or you can reduce the exposure with stress relieving outlets. You may offer an in-house yoga class occasionally or provide a Friday afternoon happy hour to allow your staff to blow off steam. You should also review the way you provide time off from the job.
- Enforce vacations. Speaking of taking time off, it is imperative that you enforce your vacation policies. When your team is overworked, they begin to feel like they can’t leave the office. They may think that work won’t get done when they’re away or that they will be replaced. But vacation time away from the office is essential to employee health. It helps to recharge the personal batteries so they come back to the office feeling more productive.
- Review workload. If your staff is overworked, now is the time to consider their workload. It may benefit everyone for you to hire another employee to take the burden off your team. If the feeling of being overworked is temporary due to a major project, consider hiring someone on a temporary basis to help out. You can discuss your needs with a local staffing firm and bring talented and qualified individuals on board for the duration of the project.