Overworked and underappreciated is a dangerous place for teams to be, leaders should avoid this state at all costs. Heavy workloads are common for growing organizations, and sometimes a bigger lift is needed at times. The danger occurs when the heavy workload becomes permanent rather than just a short-term function. Teams need relief, help, resources and appreciation from their leaders. If these needs aren’t met, then turnover, dysfunction and a decrease in employee engagement may occur. Leaders, if you ever get yourself in this position, get yourself out of it. You can do so by removing obstacles and providing resources to your team. Connect with your team to gain awareness of their workloads and how to help.
A lot of the time teams can handle the work but are stuck dealing with outdated processes, systems, or breakdowns. Remove these obstacles as fast as possible. There is no need to wait for committees to discuss these decisions, figure out what is in the way and get rid of the friction. Once these obstacles are removed, team members can get back to doing what they are supposed to do and it won’t take them as long.
If you have removed all obstacles but your team is still faced with too much work and too little time, then you need to provide them with more resources. You can’t just pile work onto your team members without providing them with the resources they need. Growth should be exciting for everybody because it provides new opportunities. It’s easy for sales teams to be excited since they’re on the front-line, making commission and having fun. Leaders need to make sure that growth is equally as exciting for service, support, and operations teams as well. They can’t get buried under the rest of the work; they need to be provided with resources so that they can handle the workload.
When leaders remove obstacles and provide their teams with resources, there is higher employee engagement and higher customer satisfaction. Pay attention to your teams and communicate with them. Cast a vision for how you are going to help them, and back that vision up with action. Doing so will increase engagement, production and happiness, which creates a situation where everybody wins!