Having too little work is boring, while having too much responsibility can cause incredible stress. Where is the balance? When I am hired to be an inspirational speaker for a company event, the key issue that comes up is workload.
Having too much work is a recipe for stress, which is bad for a person’s health and wellbeing over the longer term. As a result of overwork, people are more likely to make mistakes, resent their employers for expecting them to do more work without extra recognition or compensation, and are more likely to resent co-workers that they don't perceive to work as hard. There is no magic formula or motivational speech that will alleviate the situation.
Overall burnout from overwork causes job dissatisfaction, turnover, low morale and workplace conflict. Without changing the job structure or workload there are some steps that leadership can take to alleviate some of the stress or resentment. In a motivational speech for leadership, we address the following:
Recognize Individual Effort
When employees take on extra work, it is important to recognize them for it. Management needs to let them know that they notice and appreciate the extra effort; individuals should be genuinely recognized for their contributions to the team. Morale will plunge if people feel they are being taken for granted at work.
Recognize the Team
Team spirit soars when people feel like they are accomplishing something big together - tasks that would be extremely difficult or impossible to accomplish in individual effort. Celebrate small successes and keep people in the know of the greater goals of the group and their contributions.
Spontaneous celebrations that celebrate baby steps toward larger goals will help keep people on track, build momentum, boost morale and recognize and communicate progress. Seeing progress is motivational for everyone involved!
I was an inspirational speaker for a recent company event, where they had a luncheon speaker who was a senior leader who periodically stopped at various tables and candidly recognized individuals for their accomplishments. He was genuine, specific and caring. It was not a generic prize-giving ceremony but an authentic appreciation of success, linked to group achievement.
His spontaneous, personal motivational speeches showed he was paying attention and really cared about people.