8 Strategies for Managing Team Overload

Helping Your People to Cope With a Demanding Workload


Over the last few weeks, Myfanwy has been staying later than her manager and "going the extra mile" to get things done.

She's conscientious, so she doesn't usually mind, but she's started to feel out of sorts. At first, she thought nothing of it, until her team mates confided that they, too, are feeling the strain. There just seems to be more and more work to do. Myfanwy senses that her performance has dropped and she sees her colleagues starting to take time off sick.

In this article, we'll look at how to prevent your team members from buckling under the weight of a heavy workload, while ensuring that they still deliver the goals that are important to the organization. We'll explore how to ease the pressure on your people without upsetting your boss, and how to stop the problem from happening again.

Click here to view a transcript of this video.

What Is "Team Overload?"

Your team has a physical limit to what it can achieve and, when the demands made of it exceed its ability to meet them, team overload happens. It can appear over time or suddenly, with little warning.

Why Is It Important to Manage Team Overload?

You have two responsibilities as your team’s manager. You want to look after your people, but you must also ensure that they deliver results. You need to give them both the space and the right amount of pressure to produce their best work.

It’s crucial to get the balance right, because an overloaded team won’t benefit your organization. It will work hard, but it will struggle to achieve its goals. Ultimately, team overload can affect the company’s bottom line.

Research conducted by Stanford University has found that the pressure of being overloaded with work also makes team members less effective, and causes them to lose critical tasks in the sea of less important ones. This can affect their morale, and make them demoralized, disengaged and resentful. Their health often suffers, too, particularly because of stress and burnout. ...

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