February is the time of year when a lot of people call in sick, and we know, from more than 30 years experience as staffing solution experts, that it’s not just a virus that gets people down.
About 15% of Canadians suffer the winter blues, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health. And the desire to pull the blankets over one’s head is aggravated by stress and insecurity at work. In turn, that prompts headaches for managers and colleagues who are left to pick up the slack.
A survey of 1,700 employees showed that the three main causes of workplace stress are an uncertain future, an inability to assert control at work, and a lack of organizational support, according to Strategy + Business magazine (September 2009 issue). The study confirmed that employees who are stressed have trouble concentrating and call in more sick days.
It’s not news that when work becomes overwhelming, people are quick to take a mental health day. In October, the Globe and Mail reported that a North American survey of 4,700 employees found that 32% of people call in sick at least once a year when, physically, they feel just fine.
And what do they do on their day off? Some update their resumes and call staffing agencies.
At The Bagg Group, we work closely with hiring authorities at organizations of all sizes in the GTA. And we collaborate on solutions to decrease workplace stress year-round for higher employee satisfaction and retention.
Our clients, top employers in the GTA, know that ensuring employees don’t feel overburdened by their workload is good preventative medicine.
The first step is to support employees by ensuring they are not juggling too many priorities at once. But if there is a multitude of tasks that must get done, the solution is to spread the work around. In other words, delegate.
With that in mind, our staffing solution experts offer these three tried-and-true tips on how to delegate.
Trust the one you delegate: Whether you are hiring a contract worker to take over a project, or an office temp to take over a variety of tasks, you must be assured that they have the appropriate skills, experience, track record, and initiative. They need to have the right competencies and attitude so you can concentrate on your priorities, worry-free.
Take the time to know the task: It’s important to break down your project into its smallest components. For example, write down who needs to be contacted, what research needs to be done, what reports need to be written. Next to each detail, write your name if you are the only one who can do it, or write a D if it’s something that can be delegated.
Say it, don’t just think it: No one is a mind-reader. The more clear and detailed you are about what you want done, and how you want it done, the greater the result. Go over the breakdown of the task with the person who is taking it over and encourage questions.
Good delegating can’t melt snow, but it can melt away some of the panic and that’s a good boost to the immune system.