Mental Health Job Aid for Managers: Psychosocial Factor 9 – Workload Management

This job aid provides tips and resources to assist managers in addressing psychosocial risks and creating a psychologically healthy workplace for their employees.

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Workload Management is demonstrated in a workplace where assigned tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available. It is not only the amount of work that makes a difference but also the extent to which employees have the resources (time, training, equipment, support) to do the work well.

Workload Management: Where to Start?

Take Action!

Consider varying levels of psychological efforts and responsibility associated with different positions when assigning work to your employees to ensure that tasks are distributed equitably.

Provide the necessary equipment and resources to your employees (i.e. Information Technology/computers, monitors, printers; tools and personal protective equipment; support staff; and required training) to help complete work competently and efficiently.

Set reasonable deadlines and allow for flexibility on task prioritization and deadlines where appropriate.

Develop, communicate, and implement timely interventions for dealing with peak periods of demand (i.e. hire temporary staff, reallocate work between same positions, set aside "nice to have" projects or assignments during peak periods).

Talk to your employees about how you can help to relieve some of their stress to prevent job burnout when you observe signs and indicators that your employees are becoming physically, psychologically and/or emotionally tired and stressed.

Talk to your manager about putting aside some of your employees' priorities and/or extending their deadlines when your staff is overwhelmed.

Seek and encourage your employees to complete training on resiliency, stress management, and time management (see Canada School of Public Service Courses listed below).

Encourage your employees to take their lunch break by stopping by their desk and inviting them to take a break from work.

Demonstrate a healthy work-life balance by refraining from working through lunch or on the weekends.

Additional Resources

To assess each psychosocial factor, you may use the Organizational Review Worksheet and Survey Tool provided by Guarding Minds at Work.

Developed in collaboration with the Centre of Expertise on Mental Health in the Workplace.


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