Call to assist ‘overwhelmed’ workers

Business is often a team game, with many people contributing to the overall success of the company. However, just one worker who is struggling could set the entire organisation up for failure.

According to Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey of over 2,500 business and human resource (HR) leaders, organisations that don't address overwhelmed workers could suffer potential retention and productivity problems as well as a leadership crisis.

Based on the survey's results, 34 per cent of business leaders indicate that this is a high priority area for them yet, less than 10 per cent believe they are doing anything positive about it. More than half believe their organisations fail to address overworked workers and 57 per cent described their current process as "weak".

The suggestion is that the information overload environment and being constantly connected to work means workers are overwhelmed easier. This can affect both their productivity and their engagement to the job.

David Brown, Deloitte Australia's human capital leader, had some suggestions for business leaders to ensure their teams are functioning at the highest level possible, without feeling overworked.

"HR departments have an opportunity to lead efforts to manage pervasive communications practices that tend to overwhelm employees, simplify the work environment, create more flexible work standards, and teach managers and workers how to prioritise workloads," he said.

"One strategy organisations are following to help employees become more productive with their time is creating smaller, more agile teams and looking at ways to outsource or insource repetitive, non-core tasks to free up employee time and energy."

Another strategy for reducing heavy workloads is implementing productivity software into the business. The software can improve employee work rates by streamlining systems and this can increase the overall efficiency of the organisation.

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