Most employers are looking to make their employees more productive and get more work done. However, in today's culture of "more" - more results, more work, and more hours - the process usually ends up leading to employee burnout. And the marketing sector is no different.In fact, according to a work-study done by Workfront, a project management company, 80% of marketers felt both understaffed and overworked. What's worse is that if employers ignore the signs of an overworked staff, the effects can be disastrous for their business. To prevent this problem from escalating, employers need to realize when their marketing department is taking on too much work and what steps they can take to fix it. 

How to Tell If Your Staff is Overworked?

Working Nights, Weekends, and Early Mornings

One of the best ways to determine if your staff is being overworked is checking how many hours they are working. If you notice an overall increase in working hours and observe that your employees are staying late, coming in early, and putting in time during the weekends, it may be time to go over the overall workflow. 

More Work Drama

Overworked staff usually leads to many of them being sleep-deprived, having "on-edge" feelings, and throwing out more passive-aggressive comments. When you notice that staff members who are generally calm, receptive, and rational suddenly have a more aggressive tone to them, their workflow may be the culprit. Reviewing the work that everyone is doing, and taking appropriate measures, can fix this problem quickly and give people a much-needed break.

Employee Turnover 

If you start noticing your turnover rate picking up, especially amongst crucial staff, examining the workflow may be vital in preventing the loss of any more talented employees. Usually, dedicated employees are often motivated and eager to take on additional assignments. However, when the workflow begins to interfere with their family obligations, or if they feel they are undervalued, many employees will decide to move on. Keeping workloads reasonable is critical in helping out your staff before they choose to call it quits. 

related post: Calling All One-person marketing departments

How to Prevent Your Marketing Department From Taking on Too Much

Form a Strategy and Set Benchmarks

Most marketing teams have strategies in place to keep track of their work. However, as daily tasks continue to build, those big projects frequently get buried beneath other work. By taking some time and coming up with a strategy to keep your team from straying off course, a manager can help everyone stay on track while minimizing stress and anxiety when tasks begin to build. 

  • Put a process in place that will help track and measure which projects are being worked on, which ones are a priority, and which ones don't need to get done right away. This process will help ensure that your team works on what matters most while minimizing the stress that everything needs to get done at this moment.
  • Set project benchmarks for your staff. This will help your team understand which requests require immediate attention and which ones can take some time to complete.


When marketing departments don't have individuals who focus on specialized tasks, the team is left with a plethora of marketing assignments, including creating the website designs, designing the branded materials, and managing social media. When only a few people take on all of these tasks, the end result is an overworked team and poor work performance. What's even worse is that your business overall may be suffering because of the lack of specialization. Leaving all of this work to only a few staff members can lead to a lot of mistakes, especially if they don't have the knowledge to do the task at hand or the time to learn. That's why the solution may be outsourcing. Not only will involving a group of talented professionals help you bring new ideas and perspectives to your company, but it will take a lot of tasks off your hands, leaving your employees to do their job with the attention it deserves.

Do you think it's time to outsource your marketing efforts? Here at Ironmark, we have helped companies with print and marketing needs for years, helping to drive them to new goals and objectives. Not only do we specialize in multiple areas of marketing, but we can help to reduce your work stress while providing you with the building blocks to help your company succeed. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a call with one of our staff.

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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