Overtired employees may be an understandable sign of the times. Yet prolonged exhaustion among employees could reflect a lack of strategy and/or a dysfunctional organizational culture that may threaten sustainable success.
When organizations downsized to meet economic challenges in recent years, many were left with a streamlined structure. As businesses experience a minimal or robust increase in sales, they may be finding themselves less than equipped to meet demands.
Other factors also increase stress on a workforce. Globalization generates new and threatening competitive challenges, and working across many time zones requires late hours and middle-of-the-night meetings. Telecommunications in the new millennium allows (and often requires) 24-hour accessibility.
As long as everyone understands the clear short-term and long-term vision, and sound business strategies are in place, most loyal employees will do whatever it takes — temporarily — to bridge the organization into better times. That is successful only as a short-term strategy. Long-term, it can lead to a decrease in morale.
Values that leaders strive to integrate into their organizations are contradicted when longer hours leave little time for family, community or spiritual activities that offer life balance.
I offer three simple strategies to these complex challenges. Stop, assess and re-prioritize your current initiatives. Establish your most immediate goals, and set future targets for remaining initiatives.
Set and communicate a course that's manageable. It is tempting to dismiss these recommendations based on short-term productivity challenges.Yet these strategies will increase odds for sustainable profitability.
Reintroduce and demonstrate the values that help people thrive. Thriving employees build thriving businesses.
Rawady is an executive coach. She can be reached at donnarawady.com. This column is written by members of the Rochester Women's Network (rwn.org).