More than two years after organizations began to reduce staffing levels, employers are faced with the pressing challenge of helping workers manage larger workloads, according to Right Management.
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent ) of 443 workers in the United States report their burden has increased as a result of layoffs, with 54 per cent saying their workload had increased “a lot.” However, the numbers are down slightly from one year ago, when another survey conducted by Right Management found 79 per cent of workers indicated their workload had gotten heavier.
“Senior managers have sought to manage the transition to leaner staffing by asking workers to step up and make greater contributions. The evidence is that workers have generally responded co-operatively to these moves, up to this point,” said Bram Lowsky, Right Management's general manager.
However, organizations risk losing productivity gains if they continue to ignore the pressures employees are under and assume the status quo will continue unabated.
“In many cases, workers feel like they have hit maximum capacity and are approaching burnout. Such feelings must be acknowledged and addressed,” he said. “Where possible, try to ease undue stress through frequent communication and engaging employees to find new approaches and solutions to getting work done. Eliminating non value-added activities and eliminating needless bureaucratic irritants can also demonstrate a true commitment to employees in a difficult environment. Keeping the best talent in the organization should be a primary goal here.”
The most effective strategies are based on communications and candour, said Lowsky.
“These were companies that were frank to acknowledge the increased workloads and sought to instill a spirit of collaboration during tough times. They also went to lengths to help their employees acquire new skills and engaged them in a continuing dialogue to foster a mutual understanding between workers and leaders.”
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