Hello SOTGC community,
For those of us who lead in management, taking care of our employees is essential. If your team feels overwhelmed, it needs to be addressed. A healthy team means that your company is healthy and balanced. It’s that simple. If you have a good management structure in place, there’s someone your employees can go to. They can discuss the possibilities of their role, areas for growth and concerns.
This should be an individual both you and they trust. Sometimes it’s the COO, HR or an office manager. Every organization is different.. To be responsible and responsive, here are the top four things you can do to help your employees establish priorities and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed.
1. Ensure Their Job Description Is an Active Reference Point
Every team member should have a job description that is “active.” It’s not something they receive the first day and put away in a folder. It’s an ongoing point of discussion. It defines the deliverables that are agreed upon.
If it’s not working, you can adjust it to both parties’ satisfaction. It’s an objective, clear document from which to work.
2. Report Up Effectively
Most employees report on their goals and achievements. We suggest having it on a daily or weekly basis. It’s not a long, onerous report. It might be updating a project management tool or a simple email that goes to their manager. At UniversalGiving we call these EODs, or End of Day Reports.
The first three steps focus on what is occurring today:
- Section One: Priorities
- Section Two: Activities Completed with Estimated Time
- Section Three: Next Steps with Deadlines
These three steps are a working report that provides a basis for dialogue if they feel overloaded. Knowing how your employee views his or her priorities is important. You want to understand how the time spent on work translates into the quality of the work done. It will allow you to assess the delegation of projects to that specific employee. The next step focuses on what is occurring in the future.
Section Four: Future Projects
This section gives an idea of the workload to come, which also helps you better manage the current duties of your employee. If you see that your employee will have a hectic month of work, distribute the work to others. Then no one burns out. The last step logs our accomplishments, reminding us of all the hard work and results we’ve attained.
Section Five: Accomplishments
The fifth section is important for morale. Finished projects are a reminder of achievements. Don’t just move on to the next thing. Have some time to appreciate and celebrate!
3. Hold Off
No one likes to have a crazy to-do list staring at them every day. As a manager, you must help create a balance for your employees that provides them the time necessary to complete their tasks. Allow them the satisfaction of accomplishing a task, rather than rushing frantically to the next “to do.” You might have a lot more for them to do, but hold off! Will this work for your go-getter culture? It has to. What we’re dealing with here is long-term employee satisfaction and retention. If they’re not happy, other team members will hear about it, lowering group morale. Or they might leave, a costly alternative. In essence, allow your employees to work hard, and be balanced. Otherwise you’re putting a significant dent into your company culture.
4. Bring In More Support
Here’s a final option. Recently we had a situation where a stellar team member was bumping through 4 to 6 major documents a week. They were doing an amazing job. But their life circumstances changed, and they had to reduce their hours. As a company, we needed to get these documents done. We brought in more support by a former team member and had her take over some of the projects. We completed the work, and provided greater balance for both team members. ********** We all want things done quickly. But overloading does not lead to success. If you hired the right people, they’re working hard. They should be saying “I can do this successfully and I’m a strong contributor.” That’s the kind of culture you want.