PHILADELPHIA, PA — March 7, 2011 — More than two years after organizations began to reduce staffing levels, employers are faced with the pressing challenge of helping workers manage larger workloads, according to Right Management. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in innovative workforce solutions.
The firm completed an online survey of 443 U.S. workers and found that 71% report that their burden had increased as a result of layoffs. In fact, 54% said their workload had increased “a lot.” The findings are similar to a survey conducted by Right Management a year earlier when 79% of workers indicated their workload had gotten heavier.
“Today’s workplace continues to require great efficiencies and sustained productivity. This means that workloads continue to be heavy for most employees which presents some real challenges for employers,” said George Herrmann, Right Management Executive Vice President Americas. “Senior managers have sought to manage the transition to leaner staffing by asking workers to step up and make greater contributions. The evidence is that workers have generally responded cooperatively to these moves up to this point.”
Herrmann warned, however, that organizations risk losing their hard-fought productivity gains if they continue to ignore the pressures employees are under and assume the status quo will continue unabated. “In many cases, workers feel like they have hit maximum capacity and are approaching burnout. Such feelings must be acknowledged and addressed. Where possible, try to ease undue stress through frequent communication and engaging employees to find new approaches and solutions to getting work done. Eliminating non value-added activities and eliminating needless bureaucratic irritants can also demonstrate a true commitment to employees in a difficult environment. Keeping the best talent in the organization should be a primary goal here.”
According to Herrmann, the most effective strategies were based on communications and candor. “These were companies that were frank to acknowledge the increased workloads and sought to instill a spirit of collaboration during tough times. They also went to lengths to help their employees acquire new skills and engaged them in a continuing dialog to foster a mutual understanding between workers and leaders.”
All the same, leaner staffing remains a continuing test for most companies, Herrmann said. “In the near term, organizations may demand extra effort and sacrifice in the workplace, but as the economy picks up, employee patience or expectations may change. And if employee cooperation and loyalty decline, then disengagement will surely rise as well turnover.”
Right Management surveyed 443 individuals via its web site between January 15 and February 14, 2011.
About Right Management
Right Management (www.right.com) is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in innovative workforce solutions. Right Management helps clients win in the changing world of work by designing and executing workforce solutions that align talent strategy with business strategy. Our expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies are currently working with us to help them grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance.
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