Many employees are, in a word, overwhelmed. At times, it could be purely due to their workloads. In others, it could be the combined stress of work and managing their personal lives under the shadow of COVID-19.
In either case, finding ways to help overwhelmed employees is a must. Without intervention, they may quickly work their way toward burnout, leading to falls in productivity and work quality.
Thankfully, managers do have the power to make a difference. If you want to ensure your staff thrives, here’s what you can do.
Encourage Time Off
Stepping away from the workplace on occasion can be critical for mental health. Make sure your team fully understands any leave policies and how much time they have available. Then, encourage them to plan vacations, long weekends, or other forms of time off.
By using their leave benefits, employees can reduce stress and rejuvenate. Plus, once they return, they are often more productive and focused, creating a win-win scenario that benefits them and the company.
Support Those Who Say “No”
Many employees are worried that saying “no” to additional work will hurt their reputation or career. As a result, many take on responsibilities that they may not be able to shoulder, simply because they believe that saying “yes” is a must.
If you want to help your overwhelmed employees, support them when they decline a task for a legitimate reason. Let them know it’s okay and that you understand their position. Use the conversation as an opportunity to learn more about how they are spending their day, ensuring you aren’t making choices that could lead them toward burnout.
In cases where only a specific employee can handle a duty, that doesn’t mean you should simply press forward. Instead, support them by examining their workload and seeing if some of their other tasks could be handled by a team member. That way, you can create the room they need to take on a new assignment comfortably, without jamming it into an already busy schedule.
Pare Down Meetings
Meetings can take a lot of time out of a person’s workday. If you want to ensure employees don’t feel overwhelmed, cutting back on meetings can be an easy option.
Consider whether the information you need to share or collect has to involve gathering in real time. Additionally, review attendees lists to see if every person genuinely needs to be present. Then, seize every opportunity to pare down.
When an employee is overwhelmed, it’s wise to examine their workload with them. This allows you to work together to reassess their tasks and determine which responsibilities are genuinely priorities.
Often, with a quick evaluation, you can provide them with guidance regarding where they should focus their energies. This provides them with clear points of focus, essentially letting them know what you’d like them to concentrate on first.
Additionally, you can identify tasks that could potentially be redistributed to other team members or that could safely go on the backburner. You may be able to adjust their workload to make it manageable, even if the shift is just temporary until they regain their footing.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can support an overwhelmed employee, the team at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us today.