A Case Study in Overwhelm and Solutions


In 2019 a client came to us with a serious, but wonderful problem. They were offering a product that was increasingly popular on the international stage, and it was selling faster than production could support.

The bottom line was they were functioning in total chaos. The staff was ‘chipping in to solve problems’ with the best of intentions, and nobody knew where the gates of responsibility were. In other words, toes were getting stepped on because the team was overwhelmed.

Overwhelm is a problem that happens quite frequently, and usually due to one of several reasons.

  1. The business has scaled and the number of resources they have available to them has overwhelmed their processes.
  2. The organization has been run as a ‘family business’ and they don’t know how to mature while maintaining the culture that has pleased the team up to this point.
  3. Unanticipated events have forced a transition that the ecosystem was not prepared for and cannot withstand.

Any one of these reasons, much less a combination, can create uncertainty, anxiety, and overwhelm from the leadership level to the staff.

For example, who among us didn’t have serious concerns about the ‘work-from-home’ transition during the pandemic? Very few businesses were prepared for such a drastic shift in workflow, process, and productivity. And though many of those small businesses have weathered the storm, the majority have yet to address the next transition that will cause confusion; the ‘remote-work-hybrid’.

For our client, what started out as a delivery challenge in 2019 morphed into a workflow and bottleneck challenge in 2020, and yet, the root problem was the same and it required a single solution; create clear expectations throughout the entire business.

Our solution had several steps, but each step had the same focus; define success and provide the steps to achieve it.

As a team, L-12 Services developed a plan to address the issues simultaneously:

  • Perform a communications platform assessment
  • Create a communication channel policy
  • Moderate departmental focus groups to assess and streamline workflow
  • Distribute net promoter surveys on a regular basis
  • Update HR document to reflect new policies, reporting structure, and leave
  • Develop training for additional sub-contractor support and fast onboarding
  • Participate in regular leadership training to support the culture and prevent burnout

The outcomes for our client include:

  • 87% retention rate of the original staff
  • International program partnerships that are clearly defined and compliant with internal policy
  • Program growth into 5 additional countries in Asia and Africa
  • Redistribution of work to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce project rework
  • Increased employee satisfaction by 43%

For businesses facing fast growth, scaling, or a transition to the ‘remote-work-hybrid’, our team has solutions to help you anticipate these future hurdles and prevent overwhelm.

For more information about our Streamlined Workplace Program, or to discuss your concerns related to these issues, simply click the link above to see if working together would be a good fit.

About Lizabeth Wesely-Casella

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella is an internal communications corporate trainer and process improvement specialist. Her work has contributed to national health program restructuring, and she has helped businesses worldwide increase efficiency while improving staff experience. Lizabeth is an entertaining and informative speaker who shares actionable information with her audiences. To book Lizabeth for your event or podcast, visit her Speaking page.

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