A reader writes:
I’m a newish manager at a small non-profit whose work site is overseas. I report to an international Executive Director and oversee a small office in the U.S. We’ve recently grown our U.S. team to address problems of overwork. The dominant culture on the team is to sacrifice to get work done, despite my attempts to help team members manage their workloads, address inefficiencies, model work-life balance, and encourage honest conversations about overload.
As an example, some team members routinely work during their vacations, even when they have another colleague checking their inboxes, and others never take their PTO.
I’d like to help change the culture in our U.S. office, and can’t figure out if I’m being ineffective, if I’m battling personalities that overwork feeds (workaholics, people pleasers, over committers), if they really are too overworked to find balance, or if I’m somehow creating an environment that reinforces the tendency to overwork while paying lip service to wanting balance. Do you have any advice on how to fight overwork as a manager?