Is your employee really overworked?

When your employee says they're overworked...

Find out how to deal with the complaint.

Job Activity Log

Do you have an employee who is often communicating to you that they're overworked and experiencing employee burnout? That they have too much to do? That they're stressed? That you need to hire additional headcount to help them? 

Before you rush to change things or hire someone, be sure to do your homework.  Use the Job Activity Log to help you determine if too much work is actually the case.  

The Job Activity Log is used for overworked employees to provide you with a standard method for recording individual job activities, time spend on each job activity over a period of time, nature of the activity i.e., whether or not it is core to the successful execution of the position and perceived urgency of the activity. 

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The Tool to measure the Productivity of Overworked Employees

Let's say your employee comes to you this week, and again next week and the week after to advise you that they are overworked.  How do you know if they're really overworked or if something else is going on?  How do you know if you should hire additional headcount before justifying that new position

The first step is to understand what the employee is spending their time on. The Job Activity Log is a spreadsheet that is completed by the employee up to 15 minute intervals that documents what they're spending their time on. If the employee reaches out to you to communicate that they're not able to cope with their workload, this will not be an antagonistic ask. It is providing a step to solution that the employee should be happy to participate in. 

Depending on the job, the log is completed during a 2 to 4 week period to ensure that all monthly cycles of work are captured for the overworked employee.  Some employees may not be happy to complete the form citing that they are too busy to complete it.  Assure them that this is the first step to solution and to help the overworked employee manage their workload. 

Job Activity Log - the Fit-bit for Evaluating a Position is a good read for setting up a process for overworked employees using your Job Activity Log. 

Other Resources to Determine if your Employee is Overworked

Another tool that may be useful is the  Weekly Status Report that is completed by the employee every week that summarizes the employee's accomplishments and results.  This is an especially useful tool.

Additional Resources:  




Reasons why your Employee may feel Overworked

Once your Job Activity Log is completed by the overworked employee, you may discover one or more of the following: 

  • The employee does indeed have too much work.
  • The employee's productivity level is below the standard for the position.
  • The employee is spending time on the wrong tasks. 
  • The employee is taking an unusually long time to complete certain tasks. 
  • The employee has many distractions during the day, including attending meetings where they are not needed. 
  • The employee spends time on personal activities and is not aware of the frequency of these activities.
  • The employee is absent frequently.
  • The employee lacks the skills to complete certain tasks.
  • The employee is using manual systems because they are not comfortable with automation or computers. 
  • The employee's tasks rely on other stakeholders who are not meeting deadlines. 
  • The employee is being pulled in many different directions by different managers. 

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Job Activity Log  |  Accompanying Instructions for Staff

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Which HR kit is it included in?

The Job Activity Log can be used on its own as a stand-alone tool, or as part of the Job Evaluation Kit.


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