What this is

Your team’s wellbeing is linked to their workload and performance.

As a people manager, you need to be clear with your team on what work they need to do and the standard you expect, while balancing their wellbeing.

This includes:

  • how your team is thinking about how they will manage the workload and feels about how much work they have
  • if each member of your team feels they have a way of telling you if the work is too much
  • how much control each team member feels they have over their work with autonomy to make decisions

There are many factors that can impact your team’s workload and performance including:

  • Time, such as if your team feels like they have enough time to do the work you give them
  • Resources, such as if your team feels they have the tools and time to do their work
  • Skill, such as if each team member has existing skills or needs to learn new skills to do their work
  • Allocation, such as if each team member feels the work is evenly given out
  • Meaningful work, such as if each team members understands how their work supports the team’s and organisation’s goals

Why you need to focus on this

Teams who are mentally and physically well will be more productive and do work of a higher standard.

People like to perform at their best, but they can only do this if their workload is reasonable for their working hours.

It’s okay if staff need to work hard to meet a deadline, as some employees find this fulfilling.

But you also need to try and give your team realistic timelines so they can succeed in what work you expect them to do.

Working at an unsustainable pace can lead to dangerous levels of stress and can cause burnout.

What happens if you don’t focus on this

When your people feel their workloads are too much, this may impact their wellbeing.

Some examples of this are:

  • They feel unsatisfied with the work they do
  • They don’t feel like they’re accomplishing anything, as the work keeps piling up
  • They start to have negative feelings towards their colleagues, managers and the organisation

Tips to use

Your staff need to feel like their work is meaningful and has a purpose.

Look at what works and what doesn’t in the team and how this may impact performance.

Check the workload for each person is reasonable, based on their capabilities and capacity.

Make sure each staff member understands what you expect from them in their role and that they know where to go for support.

Go over your timelines and workplan to check they’re reasonable for the work your team is expected to do.

If they’re not, speak with your manager to see if you can reprioritise work, get more resources or reallocate work.