82% of employees feel they’re overworked, according to a four-nation survey by project management tool, Asana. These employees believe they put in more work hours every week than the usual requirement.
Enduring such exhaustive levels of work tends to cause dissatisfaction among employees. There’s also the possibility of burnout. By overworking your workforce, you’ll only be left with unhappy and exhausted employees.
The reason for employee dissatisfaction is not about the amount of work they have to do. Mostly, it's due to the effect on their private lives.
Nowadays, employees want to maintain a personal life completely separate from work. They don’t want to spend all their time toiling away at their day job. However, it becomes difficult for them to achieve this when they’re being overworked.
So, how can you avoid overworking your employees while keeping them happy? Below are 10 ways you can achieve exactly that and also boost your business’s productivity.
1. Practice Healthy Leadership
Healthy leadership is the best way to get employees to give their best consistently and on time. You make them want to do what they need to do when they need to do it.
This way, everybody completes their jobs on time, and nobody has to overwork. Through healthy leadership, you’re able to bring the best out of your employees.
Healthy leadership involves promoting the wellness of the employees and creating a healthy work environment. You should not care only about the business process; you should also have an interest in employee welfare. You won’t overwork your employees if you care about their welfare.
2. Build a Care Culture
If your employees can’t take care of themselves, they won’t be able to contribute much to your business. Building and promoting a self-care mindset in your employees improve the way they handle day-to-day business.
When your employees take good care of themselves, they’ll be able to focus while working. This way, they can do more with less and without needing to stress or overwork.
You can also promote a caring culture by assessing and rewarding workers who take good care of themselves. Encourage workers to choose the quality of work over the quantity of work. Lastly, always be willing to give breaks to employees deserving of one.
3. Set Clear and Realistic Expectations
Sometimes, we don’t ensure employees understand our expectations for the project before sending them off to complete a task. Due to misinformation, employees will fail to meet expectations and then may have to do extra work to make up for it.
This is one of the ways managers sometimes unknowingly overwork their employees. Before sending your employees to work on a project, be clear on their deliverables.
A trick to this is effective communication before every project. If you can’t do it in person, you can communicate with the team simultaneously using conference call services.
Sometimes, all you need is to be clear with your expectations, and the team can avoid unnecessary work.
4. Advocate for Teamwork
Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. You achieve more when you collaborate with others and share duties.
Encourage teamwork among your employees to prevent individuals from taking on heavy workloads alone. When employees work as a team, they’ll share each other’s workload and achieve more together.
Teamwork also fosters a healthy and friendly working environment. To encourage team spirit, you can have employees sign up for team-building activities.
You can also enroll team members on course platforms to learn and build their interpersonal skills. Finally, to allow employees to develop their interpersonal skills, assign more group projects.
5. Use Employee Productivity Tools
Empowering your employees with the right productivity tools will reduce the mundane work they have to complete. Encourage your employees to look for and take options that involve the least amount of work while guaranteeing results.
When your employees can get the best results while doing the least amount of work, there's zero possibility of overworking them.
Introduce employee productivity tools to keep track of the amount of work they put in. Productivity tools offer various functionalities and a lot of advantages. It all comes down to how you and your employee use these tools.
6. Set a Clear Example
You may not realize it, but many of your employees look up to you and will try to pattern their work-life after yours. If you’re the type that puts in many hours at work, it may influence the employees who look up to you.
They may try to put in as many hours as you do and end up overworking themselves. Here’s a successful CEO hack for you: if you want to avoid overworking your employees, avoid overworking yourself.
7. Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance
An unhealthy work-life balance can significantly affect the overall well-being of your employees. In a study by Statista, 72% of respondents consider work-life balance as a crucial job selection factor.
An indicator that you’re overworking your employees is when they can’t seem to balance their work and personal life. Encourage your employees to take breaks and relax.
8. Work Smart
You can also actively reduce your employees' workload by using tools to take care of some activities. You can use automation and smart computing to take care of repetitive tasks.
9. Compensate Employees Generously
Sometimes, employees put in more shifts or take up other jobs to make extra money. Oftentimes, they end up overworking themselves to make enough money to only cover their expenses.
They’ll not need to do that if you pay them enough to cover their outgoings. You don’t have to put your business in jeopardy to pay your workers well.
Ensure you’re offering value that is proportionate to each employee’s skill level. You can also incorporate bonus payments and other incentives where possible.
10. Hire the Right Person For the Job
An employee without the proper skills for a job will need to work extra hard to complete assigned tasks. Over time, all that extra work can lead to burnout.
You can avoid burnout by hiring the right individual with the perfect skills for the job. For example.you can’t hire a UX expert and expect him/her/they to solve website downtime issues. Putting the right individual on the job will save you and your employee from unnecessary stress.
Sometimes, it’s not just about the primary assignment. When making hiring decisions, envision all of the tasks the prospective employee will have to do. For instance, although it’s not the primary assignment, a marketing manager may need to know how to record a phone call.
Do Not Make Employees Do More Work Than Necessary
More work does not automatically translate to more efficiency or productivity. To get the best out of your employees, you need to make sure they’re in the best state physically and mentally. Burning out your workers will hurt your company's productivity. This is one aspect most certainly best to avoid.
Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad. Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered voip call recording and cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.