Overworked employees is nothing new to the corporate world but many executives and company owners are still unaware of the negative impact on a company's bottom that a stressed out employee can have.
In the worst case, the employee can sue the employer, which is never a good thing. Time and money, not to mention the negative impact on reputation, can ruin a small company and cost a larger company.
However, in the vast majority of cases, the overworked employee does not overtly attack his employer. I say overtly because unhappy workers will inevitably find ways to 'get back at' the employer.
This includes using more sick days (either deliberately or simply due to exhaustion), increased accidents at work, sloppy work, errors and infecting the mood of other workers.
This is not necessarily deliberate but in some cases it is. We are currently facing a tough economic outlook and most people are aware that longer hours may be required and that due to layoffs, more work will inevitably fall on their shoulders.
However, taking on new projects, including 'in-house' cost cutting programs, will inevitably lead to resentment and limited success. Assuming these projects even get off the ground, how successful will a 'number 11' priority be when the average employee can't even manage the current 'top 10' priorities?
Given the limited number of employees, maintaining 'business as usual' is tough enough without adding on new projects.
Ever heard of outsourcing some of these projects to the experts...? :)