5 Ways to Help Your Overwhelmed Team

For our last week discussing overwhelm and how it impacts work, we’ll cover my top 5 techniques you can use to step in and help ease that stress for your team.

An overworked, stressed team will not only lose productivity but can create a toxic work environment.

It could lead to:

  • People quitting their jobs
  • Blaming others and fighting among team members
  • And people taking sick days to avoid even coming into the office or even becoming ill from stress levels

As the leader, you must watch for the signs we discussed last week and be prepared to act when you see the overwhelm creeping into your team.

Here’s how you can help care for an overwhelmed team:

1. Hold Monday meetings to set the focus for the week

The Monday meeting (or whatever day your week starts) represents a perfect place to set the tone and priorities for the week. While this can often be ‘outsourced’ to the other manager roles in your business to run, where possibly make sure the CEO/senior leader of the business also checks into these as much as possible.

Talk with your team about:

  • What’s coming up this week
  • Give any heads up about possible issues that could disrupt the workload (a visiting board member, high-level meeting or a sales pitch, for example)
  • Help redistribute if someone is carrying an unrealistic load for the week

You can tell so much by just observing at these meetings. What are the energy levels like? What are people’s faces telling you? What is the cooperation between team members like? Are team members eye-rolling at updates? Are the same things coming up that are not being completed each week and so on?  

2. Provide background on why a change is happening

Of course, a leader needs to bring change or put a new initiative in place. Shift or be shifted and continual improvement are certainly terms we all know well.

Part of getting those ideas for change can come from several places.

You may have just attended a great conference, or one-day session, spent the weekend reading or listening to TED talks or have just come back from an awesome mastermind/professional development group strategy session.

You are all excited and have loads of ideas and things you want to do (that are now from your perspective incredibly urgent as all you are seeing are the missed opportunities or costs of not doing them).

Sound familiar? If so, remember that you are a few steps ahead of your team (which is a great place to be but you just need to give your team time to catch up and understand where everything is now going to land with the priorities that are already in place).

In your mind, you’ve already identified a problem, identified the size and cost of that problem, kicked around a few solutions and are ready to present your recommendation and action required. You have already also possibly gone through a training process or been watching trends in that area for some time.

But, your team may not be on the same page as you (yet).

So when you introduce the new process or initiative, MAKE SURE you cover the what, when, where and how, which will help them understand why this is happening, where it sits in the priority of things and how it can benefit them and/or the organisation and/or the clients.

Also, don’t forget to consider the current workload and if your team can take on this new project.

If they’re already maxed out, as a team you may need to look at what can be put on the sidelines while they tackle this new priority.

For the last 3 strategies to helping your overwhelmed team, check out my video:

What hacks do you use with your team?

If you’re looking to learn about end-to-end processes that will set your business up for success, book a spot at our NEW 1-day Culture Accelerator LIVE event on 12 July 2019 at the Lion in North Adelaide.

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