Analysis

Relieving the overwhelmed organization

How measuring supervisory burden can boost performance

The phenomenon of overburdened employees is hitting organizations harder and faster than expected. In this paper, we explore the stress of these issues on employees in managerial roles and how to measure their “supervisory burden” in an effort to set appropriate spans of control to operate effectively and boost organizational performance.

What’s driving the “overwhelmed” trend?

Two factors in particular are contributing to this strain:

  • Overly complex business and decision processes: Business processes and decision making have become too complex. A large manufacturer reported that more than 4,000 different tasks, rules, compliance processes, and procedures are used to build one of its major products.
  • Increasingly burdensome HR processes: Today’s HR processes can be time consuming for managers. Adobe found that its performance management process took almost 1.8 million person-hours per year to complete. Deloitte itself found that its performance management process consumed close to 2 million hours a year.
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