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Balance between demands and resources

There should be a reasonable balance between job demands and job resources, both in terms of the quantity of tasks and the content of tasks. Read more here about demands at work and what you can do as an employee, a manager or a member of the health and safety group.

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VIDEO - INSPIRATION FOR STAFF MEETING - watch this video and talk about how you can create a better balance between demands and resources (in Danish with English subtitles).

Understanding demands at work

There should be a good balance between demands and the resources available.

How to deal with demands at work

For employees

For employees

Think about the balance

As an employee, you can ask yourself a number of questions, both in relation to the quantity of tasks and the requirements for the content of the tasks:

The quantity of tasks:
  • Do I know what my manager expects of me?
  • Do I have enough time to perform my tasks?
  • What does my day look like – do I have enough time for my tasks?
  • Do I feel that I have to work harder than my colleagues?
  • Do I have to perform many different tasks at once?
The content of tasks:
  • Is there a balance between my tasks, my responsibilities and my skills and abilities?
  • Do I have opportunities to learn new skills and develop my skills, so that I can manage my tasks?
  • Can I influence my work so that I can live up to the demands imposed on me?
  • Do I have stress-related symptoms, for example difficulty sleeping, stomach-ache?
  • Is my job boring, am I uncommitted, do I need to be challenged more professionally?
  • Do I often have to deal with emotionally difficult situations, for example angry customers, and how does this affect me?

Here is what you can do

Prepare yourself for your appraisal interview

The interview is your opportunity to once a year focus on your job and your development. It’s a good idea to set aside time for preparation.

However, it’s important with an ongoing dialogue with your manager to adjust your job demands.

Practice saying no

There may be periods of heavy workload and pressure. If these periods become too frequent and stretch over longer periods, you should talk to your manager about how to change this.

Be conscious of your own resources

Your manager lays down the framework for your work. However, if you’re conscious about your professional skills, you can better describe the demands and challenges that your manager can impose on you.

Help and support each other

Queues, many customers and a heavy task load are normal for work in retail. In some periods, there’s extra pressure, and in such periods it’s important to help each other.

Perhaps a colleague who has had to deal with a difficult customer also needs help.

For managers

Create balance between demands and resources

Below are some questions you can consider as a manager to create the right balance between demands and resources for your employees:

Quantitative demands
  • What are the demands for different job functions?
  • Are there unclear or conflicting demands?
  • Am I clear in my communication to employees about what I expect from them?
  • Is there consistency between tasks and the time available?
  • Are there the right conditions for employees to complete their tasks in due time?
  • Do employees have influence on their own tasks, so that they cope with the demands?
  • Are tasks and demands distributed fairly between employees?
Qualitative demands
  • Do employees have the necessary personal, professional, social and technical resources to perform their tasks?
  • Do employees indicate that there is a heavy workload, do they seem tired, or do some employees show symptoms of stress?
  • Do any employees seem uncommitted, and could this be because of lack of challenges?
  • Do employees have influence on their own work and on the framework laid down for the work?
  • Do employees often face emotionally difficult situations, for example do they have to deal with difficult customers, conflicts with customers or shoplifters, or is there a risk of robbery? How do I best support them as a manager?

Here is what you can do

Here are some suggestions that others have found useful. It’s about finding what works best at your workplace:

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker

For health and safety groups

The work of the health and safety group

The health and safety group does not have a clearly defined responsibility in ensuring a good balance between demands and resources at the workplace.  Through the health and safety risk assessment (APV), the employee satisfaction survey, surveys of your psychosocial working conditions, or through some other channel, you may receive feedback from employees on the demands in their work and on the balance between demands and resources.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the topic in the health and safety group.

The quick method

If you’re a small workplace that wants to start working on demands at work, a staff meeting may be a good place to start. The meeting will help you put your experiences and thoughts into words. At the end of the meeting, you can all assess whether there is a need to launch initiatives.

  • Watch the film about demands at work together.
  • Talk about the film: What is it like at our workplace?
  • What can we do to achieve a better balance between demands and resources? Is this what we want?
Initiatives based on a health and safety risk assessment

You can conduct a health and safety risk assessment (APV) with special focus on psychosocial working conditions and examine the factors that affect the balance between demands and resources.

There are several ways to conduct a health and safety risk assessment:

  • The dialogue method by which you identify the problems at a staff meeting and discuss causes and solutions together.
  • The questionnaire method by which you collect employees’ opinions and experiences in writing, and then find causes and solutions either in the health and safety group or at a staff meeting.

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker