Companies with high burnout rates amongst their employees share a number of common elements, including excessively high levels of collaboration and poor time management.
Many corporate cultures require collaboration far beyond what is needed to get the job done. Maybe that surprises you; surely collaboration is the right approach? Of course it has a place, but to work well it has to be appropriate. Too many decision makers, too many decision-making processes, endless meetings and conference calls to ensure that every stakeholder is heard and aligned is a wasteful way of working. It’s stressful, time consuming and inefficient.
And what about time management? We all know that we should not multi-task, focus in short bursts on one thing at a time, reduce distractions by switching off alerts etc. and yet many of us continue to flip-flop between several pieces of work at once. Multi-tasking is not only exhausting but counterproductive. Research repeatedly shows that it increases the time it takes to finish both tasks by 25%.
If these sound somewhat familiar perhaps you need to take a step back and take a look at what’s going on in your business.
Start to address the collaboration overload problem by reviewing and adjusting organisational structures and routines. Systematically examine how people go about their work. For example, review meeting calendars to determine which meetings are really necessary, how frequently they should be scheduled, how long they last and who really needs to attend. You can also look at how you tackle problems and implement solutions. Businesses often allocate the time of their highest achieving employees across a number of teams. You can often get better results by putting the high-energy, most effective players together in the same team and allow them to tackle the highest priority work. Getting teams to focus on fewer, more critical activities reduces the risk of burnout.
Most managers don’t know how much time their teams spend on tasks. Measure how employee time is spent and how that affects organisational productivity. Make sure your employees aren’t spending time on unproductive activities. Establish new cultural norms around time management and make clear that everyone’s time is a precious resource. By bringing greater discipline to time management you can free-up around 20% of your employees’ time.
Overworking helps nobody and can damage both lives and your business. Take action to prevent it.
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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.
Copyright © 2017 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.
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