How Much Work is Too Much Work?


More on our lead story from Thursday which highlighted the plight of 30-year radio vet Bobbi Maxwell (pictured) who decided to quit her on-air job in Cincinnati after her additional work duties became unbearable. The story received a lot of feedback from our readers, including this comment from Jay Allen..

“It’s all about morale. Many of us feel overworked these days…it seems to be the state of business everywhere. But a truly effective manager can help improve morale by simply showing appreciation for work well done. When workers feel that they have no voice…that their superiors don’t even know they exist, and when they never get rewarded for excellent performance, they will feel unhappy. A little appreciation can go a long way. I wonder if Bobbi’s boss ever gave her positive feedback about the quantity and quality of work she was doing?”

And this comment from David Aamodt

“There are far too many managers who only know how to, and are willing to, “manage DOWN” to employees. They need to have the HEART…the COURAGE…the BRAINS to “manage UP” in behalf of employees to the corporate suits. And if you as a manager don’t have the HEART, COURAGE and BRAINS to do so, then dust off a copy of the Wizard of Oz and get some. Time to get some integrity as well. The COSTCO model of treating employee well has proven to trump the WAL-MART model of not valuing employees.”

We want t know what you think. How much work is too much work to push down on your people?

Read the Maxwell story from yesterday HERE


  1. I suspect Bobbi is well aware that the majority of readers here are wearing “management poo-bah” buttons.
    As such, most would have little sympathy or empathy for her circumstance.
    This is unfortunate.
    Unless management adds these too common occurrences to their list of “critical matters to address”, another notch would have been hacked out of the once huge and sturdy oak that, at one time, represented radio.
    Yet, particularly in the corporate world of radio, most of the high-end management and ownership are completely unaware they are in the forestry business, so to speak.

  2. It has been interesting to read all of the comments the past few days, to say the least! I’m thankful to see some interest generated on my story. Please, let it be known, I have a great work ethic. I understand that management needs to give us additional responsibilities to meet their bottom line. I did receive some positive feedback on the job I was doing. But what I didn’t understand was how management could ask their talent to produce content on dozens of network affiliate shows, while simultaneously doing their home market (large market) show. Equaling about 25-30 breaks an hour going back and forth on different systems. Something is going to fall through the cracks, and in my case it was my station/PM drive show of 18+ years. Personality is what is still keeping radio alive, but how can you be your BEST when it is compromised this way?

  3. Often I see that a company’s mission and the way the employees view that mission translating to the station’s brand and market position, is a big part of feeling “over worked”. If a company is working with sales on the right, programming on the left and the upper management isn’t connecting the dots, then you have poor morale, high burnout and employees operating without purpose, or more importantly what are we doing tomorrow?, then you have a problem. A perfect example is how our industry has moved into the digital age with web and HD channels. Both provide new streams of revenue and opportunity to expand brands, but how do you do both without overstretching your current staffing model, is it possible? or plausible? should we? we should. but how do we?

    These are questions

    • I can easily see the web argument.

      I do not really see most stations as having the HD (and translator) issues. From what I am seeing, most of the non-urban (city) stations have SOME HD content. I am running into allot of places that are turning the Ibiquity equipment off. The Cloud Company station I used to be at, never carried an HD+ (as in HD2, 3) sub station. I am now hearing stations talk about how it’s not profitable to send out that extra 14% power (minimizing that 14% from the standard signal) to folks who do not have HD radios, or even utilize them. Let’s Take WNCI… HD 2 is a dance station, run on a network. Very little localization. If SpinMix was to localize, it means hiring and training more staff. And let’s face it, People want local.

      So not real sure everyone has that argument. I do agree with your if you have HD content.

  4. To be sure, Aaron, it is about the workload – first.
    As to the psychological needs of employees: Ownership (overall) has no intention of facilitating those kinds of services – and for obvious monetary reasons.
    Your own particular case demonstrates that people will be worked until they can no longer perform satisfactorily – a wholly subjective and cynical position – and, eventually, be tossed into the closest dumpster.
    Unfortunately, this is not a radio-only circumstance.
    Still, as most senior radio people will agree: Talent, by its very nature, will be just a tad “quirky” – even on a normal day.
    Corporate radio has no intention or need to deal with any of that since they are in the business of suppressing and/or eliminating whatever talent is kept in the building – for however much longer.
    When I am wearing my H/R hat, I recognize how (when required) a combination of a gentle form of therapy is necessary – along with the absolutely necessary re-training of the communicators.
    Circumstances are ganging up on corporate radio and ownership will have no truck with the fixes.
    Still, Aaron, I admire your candor.

    • Not saying it is at all a therapy typed issue. As stated in other comment sections, it’s about respect. When I walked out of the longest-run number one station, it was about respect. No respect for me, by being yelled at in front of others, no respect of my accommodations needed to perform the job, and no respect towards the client, who had no idea that their spot was about to be changed on one guy’s whim. I am not mentioning the low level of pay, for all the hours I put in. I easily had over 40 hrs. But no overtime was allowed and minimum wages.

      You add the lack of respect Cloud Company let this guy get away with… WITH letting HR know, it was a travesty! Now add the overworking. I am shocked that I did not go postal. Funny thing was, other people could not believe my direct manager was doing half of what he was doing… But did nothing about it. And I did work odd hours, and Turn and burn shifts too.

      It’s just not the work… It’s how we are treated.

  5. I am not sure that it’s just a question of how much work, but a knowing and respecting your employees.

    First off, I am almost a sort of “Rain Man,” who has allot of intelligence. I tend to pick up things ultra quickly, when shown. This was true with all of my multimedia career positions. Show me and explain why, and I will have it immediately. I will then experiment, be “trial and error” on what does what and looks or sounds the coolest. The Cloud Company saw that part of me. They exploited it to the point of it becoming abuse.

    The company did not try to understand what my deficiencies were. Who I was, that they could not see. They clearly did not see that I had PTSD from severe abuses as a child. Yes, they were often told this. Two engineers were the only people who understood NOT TO YELL at someone with PTSD. Yet the last day I was at my Cloud Company position, I got yelled at, in front of 2 other people that I was training (which was really not my job, in the first place).

    I am now a huge advocate of people not treating everyone the same. In my current position, these folks understand me more. I now made it a talking point about how “one size” does not fit everyone anymore.

    You have talent, yet you do not treat them with the respect that they can utilize.

    I am kinda thinking that It’s not at all the amount of work… but the type and quantity of respect a supervisor gives employees. And to not have workers quit…. It’s about truely understanding and respecting employees. With the right type of respect, we will stay 24/7. But we just got to see something positive in return.


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