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Supporting the Overwhelmed Worker – Survey


Monday, 1st September 2014 at 10:36 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
Organisations not ready to address the striking shift in employee expectations, face potential retention and leadership crises, according to new research by professional services firm Deloitte.

Monday, 1st September 2014
at 10:36 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


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Supporting the Overwhelmed Worker – Survey
Monday, 1st September 2014 at 10:36 am

Organisations not ready to address the striking shift in employee expectations, face potential retention and leadership crises, according to new research by professional services firm Deloitte.

The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey of over 2,500 business and human resource (HR) leaders found that the overwhelmed worker needs to be a top priority for business leaders.

The survey results show that information overload and the always connected, 24/7 work environment were overwhelming workers, undermining productivity, and contributing to low employee engagement.

More than one-third (34 per cent) of business leaders rate this issue among their top five priorities, and fewer than one in ten believe they are dealing with it effectively.

“HR departments have an opportunity to lead efforts to manage pervasive communications practices that tend to overwhelm employees, simplify the work environment, create more flexible work standards, and teach managers and workers how to prioritise workloads,” David Brown, Deloitte Australia’s Human Capital Leader said.

“The point of these and similar efforts is not merely to save employees’ time, reduce stress, and foster employee engagement, even though these aims are important.  Rather, it is to free up unproductive time to allow more engaged employees to really focus on business priorities.”

More than half of survey respondents believe their organisations are not doing a good job helping workers address information overload in today’s demanding work environment.

And nearly six in ten (57 per cent) say their organisations are “weak” when it comes to helping leaders manage difficult schedules and helping employees manage information.

HR Executives Assessment

“One strategy organisations are following to help employees become more productive with their time is creating smaller, more agile teams and looking at ways to outsource or insource repetitive, non-core tasks to free up employee time and energy,” Brown said.

The report said they can do this by:

  • Leading through example: Change is often most powerful when it comes from the top

  • Seeking input: Assess employees’ current workloads and what issues trouble them most. Rather than ask high-level engagement questions, survey them on their most “frustrating” work practices or systems

  • Simplify HR and talent programs: Reduce the number of steps and make it possible to complete an entire process in a few minutes

  • Simplify information and HR systems: Consolidate HR and employee find information, people, and content systems in one integrated place

  • Publicise and celebrate flexible work policies: Trusted employees need to know that it is sometimes OK to work at home, take time off during the day, and miss meetings

  • Make meetings productive: Post guiding principles in every meeting location to encourage effective meetings and to help reduce the size of meetings, number of emails, and frequency of communication

  • Delegate decision making: Is it clear who makes decisions in a particular work group? Can those people make their own decisions without involving many others or asking others for help?

 

 

 


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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