Challenging Tasks in Employee Management

Building a strong, ambitious team is vital for the prosperity of an organization. It is important for a manager not only to select the right individuals to do a particular job but also to keep track of their performance, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and provide the conditions necessary for professional and personal growth. For achieving the best results in a workplace and market, the team has to receive both a business objective and development objective (Fallas, Nothomb, & Angulin, 2010, p. 19). Every employee possesses an individual talent that might be useful for a project, and a good manager can see this potential and fill that person’s work plan with tasks that would help to unlock it. A person has to exceed the limits of his or her possibilities to continuously move forward in his or her career. The value of eustress, the good kind of stress, has been scientifically proven to increase productivity and make the work more enjoyable (Blake Hargrove, Nelson, & Cooper, 2013). If assigned appropriately to the capabilities of each individual, challenging tasks may improve the professional efficiency of team members and bring benefits for the whole organization.

However, the attempts to challenge the employees must not break the healthy environment at work. Triggering eustress by setting up complicated tasks usually results in better performance, but meaningless and barely manageable goals may lead to distress and burnout. The standards should be appropriate. Some investigations have been made to determine that certain tasks are seen as “challenge-related and positive.” At the same time, administrative red tape is considered to be “hindrance-related and negative” (Blake Hargrove, Nelson, & Cooper, 2013, p. 63). Particular demands certainly help the team members to foster their skills and apply them in their work, but unreasonable demands would only be an obstacle to such mechanisms.

The manager’s role is to develop the ideas of increasing the positive aspects of work. The new complex tasks may be related to the workload, pace, complexity, and job responsibility (Blake Hargrove, Nelson, & Cooper, 2013, p. 64). Often the management exaggerates the importance of conformity over results. Even though the team leader has a casting vote, it would be fair and wise to let the other members participate in decision-making (Hiriyappa, 2013). In their book, Fallas, Nothomb, and Angulin (2010) suggest formulating the development purposes according to the 3P rule: They must be Personal, Positive, and Present (Fallas, Nothomb, & Angulin, 2010). The personal approach is essential as each individual has his or her aptitudes and weaknesses, and the manager has to evaluate them and assign the task accordingly. They should try to investigate which aspects work team members see as “most engaging, and identify why the work is so stressful” (Blake Hargrove, Nelson, & Cooper, 2013, p. 65). While placing the responsibility on an individual, a rational manager should know whether he or she possesses sufficient experience. Otherwise, this decision would lead the company to disaster. Positive formulations and terms usually have a better effect than using words with negative connotations, such as “avoid” and “do not.” And finally, announcing a goal in Present tense and describing it as a fact would make it appear more realistic.

Providing ambitious and challenging tasks creates a stressful working environment. Nonetheless, properly assigned tasks often inspire employees to work harder and enhance their skills and creativity. Good managers can set clear and meaningful objectives while considering the capabilities of each person and to explain possible results. They know how to encourage a team spirit and acknowledge the hard work of its members.


Blake Hargrove, M., Nelson, D. L., & Cooper, C.L. (2013). Generating eustress by challenging employees: Helping people savor their work. Organizational dynamics, 42, 41-69.

Fallas, P., Nothomb, M., & Angulin, E. (2010). Build Your Dream Team: Humanist Management in Practice. Arena books.

Hiriyappa, B. (2013). Team Building And Group Dynamic. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

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