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will people perform worse if they are over loaded

Hi Mark,

Yes, performance may fall off if team members are overloaded, but this rarely happens in our industry.

In most cases you have an average performer telling you they are overworked. Don't get sucked into re-distributing work off of a mediocre player's desk because they can't get the job done.

Stay fair and objective and encourage all
team members to work smarter rather than harder.

Yes, individuals that have more than they can handle in a workload or task will burn out more quickly, causing not just the person but the tam as a whole to perform at a low level. Delegation and understanding the strength and weaknesses of your team members will enhance the delegation process and the team as a whole.

Hi Michalina,

You are correct. Individuals will get overloaded in certain situations. However, the leader must understand the difference between a "c" level player being overwhelmed with a normal workload and an "a" level player who is overworked because he or she has taken on more than a reasonable load.

Don't let your "c" player push work off of his or her desk and onto your "a" player's desk.

Best Regards,


Yes, we are in the process of restructuring our duties as we were being handed more and more tasks to complete on a daily/weekly/monthly basis but no additional time to complete them. "Something has to give". It was no longer an option to complete all of the tasks but rather which ones were the most important and needed to be completed first.

As a Culinary Instructor it is easy to get caught up in the crowd that feels like they are being overworked but it is important to remember what working in the industry was really like. 14 hour shifts 6 days per week makes our jobs seem like a cake walk. Reevaluation of overworked should happen from time to time to be thankful for the job that we have that allows us to spend holidays and weekends with our families.

Hi Farley,

You have a great perspective on "reasonable" workload. As you progress in your career, you may eventually move into an administrative leadership position and all of your team members may not have that same perspective.

Challenge your team to work smarter rather than harder. Many times it is the team member and his or her limited ability to execute that creates the feeling of an overwhelming workload rather than the actual tasks at hand.

Always focus on improving the execution before reducing the workload.

Best Regards,


yes, their performance quanity AND quality will suffer due to being over worked -- their is a point where production will suffer due to workers being "burnt out"

Hi Trampas,

This is true, but many times team members are simply unorganized, lack focus or do not have the skill set to execute the task at hand in a timely manner.

A strong leader knows the difference between too much work and a need for more specific direction and tracking.



As a manager, it is important to realize what level your different team members can work at. You have to know your team.

I believe that most employees will perform worse if they are overloaded.

However, if properly motivated they will perform above and beyond their capacity. I have instructors who are developing new curriculum with only four hours a week of preparation time in a degree granting program. The four hours are the only amount of time allowed by the corporation.

It is a difficult task, especially, since the faculty are paid hourly. The only way for these instructors to complete their work is for them to work countless hours unpaid from home. Their motivating factor is our team goal: “to provide the best quality education possible for the students”.

Yes, they will not perform well if they are overworked. They must have clear instructions and guidance. If they are too overwhelmed, then I would remove a task and delegate to someone else.

This is very true. According to the course , in terms of maintaining the culture of the team, it seems that there has to be an ear that listens to the issue and works to get input from others to was said. "negotiate" a resolution rather than have them dictated.

In tough economic times, it is very easy to dictate , esp because there truly may not be other options that are feasible or legal but the approach is very important.

Instead there are nothing but an environment of dictatorship and fear. And with meetings of fake demeanor, most people can see thru this.

Instructors are now granted no prep time... How is that even possible?
And interms of where I sit, I knew there were many hats to this job but the beaurocratic machine says to be efficient when in fact it is less so.

More is done and thrown at staff, that it dissolves the team atmosphere and any respect for individuals to a team in terms of them as autonomous thinkers and responsible adults. For me though, I am going to take this information and watch as it grows thru the students in the program .

I disagree with you on this one. An overworked member can bring down the whole team.
One must be an observant leader to see fatigue.
Once recognized, action is required. I don't know what industry you are in, but it happens in my realm of business!

Yes, the hours of work may be the issue some times. If there are not enough workers to cover the shifts, am workers may be asked to cover pm shift and pm to cover am. This can cause fatigue even if the number of hours does not increase.

You make a good point. Employees, like students, can get fatigued and frustrated with changes in schedule even though the result is not an increase in actually work or class hours.

One way to minimize fatigue is to prepare the employee well in advance. What other strategies might you use to minimize fatigue in employees that are required to work various shifts?

As a new manager, I realize have numberous challenges with my team. Some perform above and beyond, others battle along and fight me at every opportunity.
We all face challenges. One of mine is to teach them to work smarter and not allow themselves to become overwhelmed. (This has been something I have had to learn for myself.)

Good points! Learning to pace your team is an important skill for managers. It sounds like you lead from example, so practicing good time management is extra important for you.

Thanks for your insights.

But delegating to someone else only passes the buck. I think when the team is struggling, the leader must prioritize for the group. This will allow the most important tasks to be completed without over stressing the entire team.

I believe they will because they have too much on their plate. They need not be bored, but too much will overwhelm them and they will decline doing work.

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