Don’t suffer stress in silence
- There is increased pressure on employees to pick up heavy workloads. But how do you communicate to your managers that you’re overworked?
Dec 4, 2017-
With companies downsizing or retrenching many of us may find ourselves taking on more work. What makes this even more difficult is that we often have to learn a new role, pick up where colleagues left off and perhaps smooth the ruffled feathers of customers who invariably dislike change. By the end, we can feel pretty stressed and overworked.
We all have days we’re fed up with our job and would love to quit and sail off to the Greek islands. If you’re being asked to work back too often, here are some tips and techniques on how to raise the issue in a professional manner.
If it’s a disagreement with another staff member, try to sort it out yourself; employers dislike getting involved in personality disputes. If you feel as though you’re the only one working back late, or taking work home on the weekend, rather than moan about how unfair it is, ask your boss if they could put aside some time to talk to you. You want to get them when they can listen to you and not be distracted with phone calls, so let them choose the time.
When you have the meeting, have a few notes at the ready. Don’t waffle on: be direct about what’s worrying you and suggest how it can be solved. Keep the meeting short and only discuss your particular concerns. This isn’t the time to ask for a raise, a promotion or to gripe about other workers; focus on you and why you’re unhappy.
If you feel nervous about a face-to-face meeting, or your boss doesn’t have time to meet with you, send an email and say that you’d appreciate them getting back to you after reading it. An email has the added advantage of giving the boss time to think about your concerns and come up with an answer while avoiding any emotional scenes and confrontation.
The advantage of this approach is that you can write an email outlining your concerns when you’re calm and composed. Sit on it, re-read it and make sure it doesn’t come over as a whining complaint, but rather as a request that they look into the situation that’s making you unhappy and help you solve it. Never send an email when you’re tired, irritable or worse, had a couple of drinks.
Say clearly what’s worrying you. Give some examples, such as you’ve worked back three out of four nights every week for the last month and no one else has. Make sure though that you’re not working back because you’re not managing your workload. If it’s general work that is building up because of certain factors for example you’re short-staffed or some members have been away on holidays— suggest someone be put in charge of allocating the extra workload so it can be shared equally.
It’s possible the boss may not be aware that you’ve been bearing the brunt of the extra workload and has a solution of their own to rectify it. If they can’t or choose not to, you may need to speak to their superior if they have one. If however, you can’t go any higher, don’t stalk off in a huff. Let the matter drop (but do say how disappointed you are) and think about it. If you really feel you can’t continue to work at this pace, decide how much this is getting you down. It might be that since they will not address your concerns you’re left with no alternative but to resign. But hopefully they will rethink their lack of support and start redistributing the workload. If not, move on. Don’t rashly leave yourself in financial difficulties, but get your antenna up and make your move when the time is right.
—©2017 The Guardian
Published: 04-12-2017 08:04