As a HR Manager, you know all too well that overwhelm is one of the biggest threats to productivity in the workplace. When team members feel overwhelmed, they can quickly lose track of the bigger picture and become stuck in mundane tasks that don’t add value. To help, here are five tips to help you prevent team overwhelm.

1. Determine what is causing overwhelm

The very first step in overcoming overwhelm is to know why it is there in the first place. Step into your team’s shoes and assess what is causing their overwhelm. Is it a lack of clarity around goals and priorities? Too many projects with unrealistic deadlines? A lack of communication? Once you have identified the cause, you can start to put together a plan to address it.

2. Be clear with roles, responsibilities, and priorities

One way to prevent team overwhelm is to ensure that everyone clearly understands their roles and responsibilities. This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised to learn how many employees have no idea what is expected of them. Taking the time to sit down with your team members to outline their roles and responsibilities and the priority of each can help them feel more clear, confident and in control.

3. Set realistic expectations and deadlines

Nothing will send your team into overwhelm faster than deadlines and expectations that are impossible to meet. If unrealistic deadlines are happening consistently, it’s important to investigate this issue more thoroughly. Is it because the team member’s manager is under unrealistic deadlines? Is it due to poor planning or resourcing? Or could it be realistic if more processes, systems, support, or training were provided?

4. Encourage communication and collaboration

As they say, teamwork makes the dream work! Encouraging your team to communicate, ask for help and collaborate during busy times will help lessen the load for everyone. 

As a HR Manager, it’s essential that you also keep the lines of communication open and organise regular check-ins with each team member to help address any concerns or issues before they become problems within the team.

5. Be mindful of leadership stress levels 

If the leadership team is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, your team will likely pick up on that energy and start to feel stressed and overwhelmed themselves. Be mindful of the example the leadership team sets. Are they taking time for breaks to bring balance to their day? Are they in the office early and late? Are they communicating within work hours or at all times of the day and night? Preventing team overwhelm doesn’t need to be complicated. Often, small changes and open communication can make a big impact. By being aware of the factors contributing to team overwhelm, you can start implementing systems to address them to help your team stay on track