#1 Posted: 6 Feb 2011 14:19
Hi - I work for a municipal government in a four-person division (supervisor and three worker bees) providing clerical, Web, graphic design, publishing, printing and problem-solving support for (potentially) all the other governmental departments and divisions.
Our new supervisor, who I really like and respect in many ways, has made a much-needed change of focus to retain current customers, regain old customers, and offer new/more services that would potentially draw new customers; in this economic climate we have to be able to show that we are vital and necessary for the organization to function well. However, it appears this new marketing has worked a little too well: we are quickly reaching overload.
For example, my supervisor has taken on a large amount of Web-related work that was once done by IT - so much so that she often has to close her door for much of the day to get caught up or stay caught up with it. At the same time, she is trying to delegate work projects appropriately to each of us; we each have our areas of specialization or expertise and customers who prefer each of us for different reasons.
Anyway, it seems like she isn't aware that we're headed forward at an unsustainable pace. I was out with a sinus infection Mon-Wed last week and when I returned to work I of course had some of my own catching up to do. However, she sent me an email telling me she was concerned about my keeping up and being there for customers and how much she depends on me and asking for my thoughts. And I responded by saying that I appreciate her confidence but realistically there will be times that unplanned absences will happen and we have to be able to accommodate such events. We agreed to have a person-to-person discussion about it this coming week.
So - I guess I'm asking for feedback on any strategies I can bring up to her that would be helpful in taking a fresh look at how we are organized, if we need to limit or eliminate some services, and how we can better handle our current workload in a relatively stress-free manner even when one of us is absent. I think right now she is so stressed out that she herself is in an "I can't afford to be sick" mode, and that's ultimately not good for anybody. Thoughts?