You have noticed that your employee motivation is low- particularly because of stress due to an unmanageable workload. What can you do?
The fastest conclusion to reach is that there is an issue with time management- employees do not understand how to manage their time well. Signing them up for a time management class seems simple enough and you may think it will yield effective results. However, what if time management is not the underlying issue?
The problem may be simple: too much work. An overburdened employee is one who does not slack off, is focused on work with minimal breaks but yet cannot manage to complete all the tasks at hand. If an employee is consistently overworked, s/he may slowly become disengaged or disheartened.
As a manager, it is you job to be aware of the symptoms of poor workload management, as discussed in a previous post.
Now that you have recognized the issue, analyze the situation.
- Is this workload issue contained to one employee or is it seen throughout the entire department?
- Does this problem occur periodically or all the time?
Sit down and take the time to answer these questions because it will determine the course of action that you should take.
If it is an individual issue with an employee, meet with them and talk about what is happening. By touching base, you will not only understand his/her perspective but will show him/her that you do. If the employee is going through a temporary personal problem, you may consider alleviating some of the stress by redistributing the workload to another employee for a little bit.
However, if multiple employees feel that they are overworked or if this issue arises more times than typical fluctuations, additional actions should be taken.
Possible solutions may be to analyze whether you, as a manager, are encouraging your workers or compensating them enough. You want to ensure that your employees enjoy working with you and do not leave. Another reason that work may be piling on can be that your company is understaffed. Hiring additional employees, either full-time or part-time, will help redistribute the total workload and make it more manageable. These actions can help increase the employee motivation and create a more efficient and effective workforce.
If you need help raising employee motivation or workload management, consider partnering with a business coach. S/he can help you find the issue and develop a solution best suited for your company.