Why Employees Leave (Part 3 of 3): How to deal with a heavy work load

Why do people leave organizations they work for?  Is it because of the pay?  The perks—or lack of?  Is it because of the culture?  Or could it even be because of the business owners themselves?  In this 3 part series, I will explore with you

  • the common factors that cause high employee turnover,
  • the strategies you can use to counter these factors, and finally,
  • focus on how to deal with a factor common to many rapidly growing small businesses: heavy workload.

In the last video of this three-part series, I discuss four ways on how business owners can address and counter too much work, which can, at times, force employees to leave.

Strategy 1: Be creative

There are many ways one can skin a cat—and perhaps the way you are skinning your cat is causing your employees to work harder than they should. Have you discussed tasks and processes with your staff? Have you asked your employees what is taking a task too long to do? Maybe they can suggest an easier and most efficient way of doing it.

If they don’t have a ready answer, perhaps it is time to go back to the drawing board and find a better way of doing things. Brainstorm with everyone. Try to understand the underlying issues with the tasks—there might be problems you aren’t seeing. And then once you identify these, find ways to resolve them quickly and efficiently.

Strategy 2: Set priorities and realistic deadlines for the entire team. Focus on high impact activities.

Perhaps the reason everyone is unnecessarily busy and burdened by too many tasks is that you, as a team, aren’t prioritising the right things. Or maybe you are setting deadlines that are too early or maybe too late, which is causing problems in your timelines. This is understandable—because too many tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming.

That said, it may be time to take stock of the tasks that you are doing as a team and ranking each task in order of priority. Figure out the things that should be on top of the priority list, particularly tasks the produce the most impact. Carefully identify the tasks that are truly necessary from those that are not. And remember, just because some things are urgent doesn’t mean they are important.

Strategy 3: Hire or Outsource

Once you’ve taken stock of the things you need to accomplish, figure out whether your current manpower is enough to take on each and every important task on your list. If you find that there are more tasks than there are hands in your organisation, perhaps it’s time to think about hiring someone new to help out.

But if you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee, you may want to look into other alternatives. If you afford to,  hire someone part-time, or maybe hire a service to take on some tasks. These days, you may find that you can outsource almost any task.

Strategy 4: Get an outsider’s point of view: get help or find a mentor!

If despite best efforts your team remains overwhelmed with a heavy workload, you may want to consider working with a mentor or a business coach. You may need an outsider’s point of view and expertise to help you pinpoint underlying issues that are not apparent to you. Having someone to discuss your problems may help you find better solutions in the long run. You’ll be surprised at how an outsider’s perspective can highlight issues that you not have even seen but could be resolved with a little bit of effort.

And that concludes the three-part series discussing employee turnover. To recap, I discussed in the first video the three top reasons that cause employees to leave:

  1. No clear track for career development or growth
  2. Toxic company culture
  3. Demanding work schedules

On the second video, I discuss three strategies on how to address each of these three factors:

  1. Establish mentoring programs
  2. Recognize exceptional work
  3. Have a clear process.

And in this last video, I list down four things you can do to address heavy workloads:

  1. Be creative
  2. Set priorities
  3. Hire or outsource
  4. Find a mentor or business coach

If you are interested to know more about what a business has to go through when facing exponential growth, you can download the first chapter of the book, ”$20K to $20 Million in 2 Years” absolutely free here. The chapter talks about the differences between a good and a great business and puts out questions that make you consider how you can turn your business from good to great.



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