Are you overworking? Do you expect your team to keep up with you? There is evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that overworking creates “a pattern of deteriorating performance on psychophysiological tests as well as possible injuries.”
In four separate studies, it was found that overwork was associated with feelings of decreased alertness, increased fatigue, lower cognitive function, and declines in vigilance on task measures.”
Ask yourself if your work schedule is setting the correct example for your team. If not, it may be time to make some of your own personal changes.
If your work hours are under control, but you are concerned about others on your team, now may be the time to approach members of your team about workload. You may have noticed excess stress, heard complaints from others, or simply observe someone who is putting in more hours than you feel is required to get the job done.
Here are some suggestions for having a productive conversation with members of your team.
- Express concern regarding the number of hours you see your employee working and ask how you can help him/her manage their current workload. If you are in the habit of working long hours, be clear regarding your personal work habits versus your expectations of others.
- Schedule a private time with the employee and ask him/her to bring their project and to-do list to the meeting so you can review it together.
- Acknowledge your employee’s workload concerns and state your concerns. Calibrate around the concerns and see if he/she has a solution in mind.
- Whether you have a ready solution or not, you need more time to investigate. Tell the employee that you will circle back in a week. Set a time on your calendars before the meeting ends.
- Be sure to compliment the employee on what is being accomplished and again offer your support in helping the employee establish a better work-life balance.
Once there is an adjustment to workload, it doesn’t mean that the problem is solved. Workload is an outcome of a constantly changing environment and will undoubtedly get imbalanced again.