Unreasonable Demands & Expectations

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:

EVERYTHING CAME FIRST!!!! Extremely unreasonable for supervisors to demand everything be done at once.

The Solution

Have you heard the phrase “when everything is priority, nothing is priority”? The fact of the matter is that everything on our “To Do” list cannot be top priority. Some things will be more critical than others. As a manager, it is your responsibility to sort through everything that needs to be done, determine priorities, and assign work. How do you handle the seemingly impossible list of tasks? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take time each day to review what needs to be done and when.  Where possible plan for the week. It doesn’t require a lot of time. The benefits of planning will help you be a more effective manager.
  • Challenge deadlines if you believe they are not reasonable. It is entirely possible that the deadlines given to you are based on someone who subscribes to the “Everything is a priority” philosophy. Push back.
  • Hold daily team/shift huddles to discuss who will be doing what. You can also hold meetings at the end of each day/shift to determine what was accomplished and what remains to be done so you can begin to plan for the next day/shift.
  • Complete a skills assessment of each team member to make sure you fully know the skills and capabilities of your team. You can build more capacity by shifting work to others. It is hard to believe but many managers and companies do not know what skills employees have. Skills are often overlooked within companies.
  • Where possible, don’t limit yourself to assigning work based on employees’ job descriptions. Most employees appreciate the opportunity to do different work than what is contained in job descriptions.
  • Ask for volunteers to help in other areas. An employee may not have the experience in a specific area, but may be a quick learner and can help when needed. Stretch those employees who you think can be stretched. Some employees thrive on the continuous road to learning more and having the opportunity to advance their careers.

The bottom line is your effectiveness as a manager is reflected in how you handle the pressure of the demands placed on you. Better planning, utilization of employees’ skills, and open communications with your employees will help reduce the stress we all face in the workplace these days. It will also help reduce turnover.

(This blog post brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight, HSD’s exit interviewing service. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential. Check our blog often for posts like this, to reduce employee turnover within your organization. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.)