In today's economy, workers are often being asked to do more, whether it is helping with standard maintenance around the building or even reviewing processes to improve productivity (Read some distributors' approach to this in Keeping Layoffs to a Minimum.). But, how much is too much?
Jon Gordon, author of the new book Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else, says it's hard to do too much. While acknowledging that everyone needs the "occasional break," he advises employees, "Make sure that when others are sleeping, you are working."
Not everyone shares his level of enthusiasm for taking on ever growing workloads. Anna Wells, editor of IMPOMag, addressed this issue in a recent column.
Wells acknowledges the suggestions come from a good place; everyone today needs to find ways to do more with less. However, in this case, she surmises the suggestions take that good idea a little too far by encouraging "back-biting competition over who can sleep the least and work the most."
Some distributors seem to have found the balance between asking employees to pick up more duties without overstressing them; W.P. & R.S. Mars Co. in Bloomington, MN, is one example. But as the recession wears on, the challenge of maintaining that balance will continue as well.
And it's up to the supervisors, managers and even executives to monitor the workloads to ensure it stays manageable.
How do you maintain the balance between getting the work done without overstressing your workforce? How do you engage your employees in this process?