Managing employee workloads should – and at his firm, does – include watching for worker burnout, he says. “We have regular processes in IT to identify talent and succession in the organization, and one of the things we do is identify any risk associated with the individual – are they overworked, are they in the ideal position to develop in their career? We actively manage those situations to find out what they need,” Caruso says.
That approach allows management to take action if they see someone who, for whatever reason, is feeling undue pressure, Caruso says, explaining that managers formulate an approach based on the individual and his or her situation. Company leaders might assign a mentor to provide guidance to a struggling worker, he says, or they might assign tasks that provide new challenges or energy to a worker who is feeling stuck in a grind.
That’s a strategy other CIOs and HR consultants recommend, too. Sheard, for example, says he recently had a candid conversation with a star employee who was overworked, reminding him that the extra work will soon lighten and implementing changes, such as elevating his position within the organization, to address related issues over the longer term– steps that helped head off a bigger crisis. “Communication and acknowledgement,” he says, “those make a difference.”
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