As supervisors and managers we know the signs. We’ve seen employees on the verge of breakdowns due to stress and overload probably as often as we’ve seen the sun set.
Quick tempers, snappy answers to questions, missed deadlines, the delivery of poor customer service and poor quality work, the haunting look of exhaustion and lack of creative energy are all indicators that it’s time to help.
As managers, we bear the responsibility of coaching in our organizations. It is our job to help those who are drowning in the sea of work/life balance frustration and make every attempt we can to make life a little easier for those who are carrying excruciatingly heavy loads – at least that’s the way I look at it.
Some of the ways you can help are easy and inexpensive while others are more elaborate and are a part of a more formal plan in the organization but consider the following:
- Be aware – Know when members of your staff are overwhelmed. The signs for everyone are different but are usually clear.
- Set realistic workloads – Have open discussion with your employees to determine how heavy a load they can bear.
- Remove interruptions – Give employees permission to put the phone on “Do Not Disturb” for an hour or so each day or dedicate a “Silent Workspace” in a conference room where employees can focus and work uninterrupted away from their desks for specified periods during the day.
- Provide resource material – Assemble information on area childcare, eldercare, and pet services for your employees who have these populations depending on them at home. As well, consider assembling a list of healthy restaurants that offer take out in the area for those times when an employee won’t have time to prepare dinner. Better yet, negotiate with that restaurant to offer your employees a discount for their patronage.
- Other more formal services to consider for the terminally burned out include:
- Wellness Programs
- Financial planning
- Concierge services
Our customers expect great service from creative, happy, and enthusiastic employees. If an imbalance exists for too many of our employees it will impact the level of customer service you deliver and this will surely affect your bottom line.
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We always read and appreciate your thoughtful comments!
What kinds of things do you do for your staff to help them keep work and life in balance?