When your cyber team is feeling overburdened by their responsibilities, employee wellbeing enters a dangerous place.
As this pressure continues to surmount because of increasing regulatory action and leadership concerns - the entire situation begins to spiral.
Tasks are started but not finished, communication goes astray, and tensions rise significantly. Pretty soon, productivity has taken a hit and your business is under threat as a result.
What should you do when cyber teams are struggling?
Of course, when these scenarios are arising, you can’t just tell your cyber team to “take a deep breath and relax”. This isn’t going to be helpful with everything going on.
You also can’t reassign duties elsewhere like you might be able to with other departments, as you need the most qualified individuals on the case. After all, they have to:
Ensure the livelihood of your business.
Secure your essential digital resources.
Protect the data of your customers or clients.
You might be wondering, then, what can you do?
Luckily, there are a few routes to take.
Step 1. Support mental health
Firstly, you need to emphasise the importance of stress management - facilitating your team’s need to reclaim their mental space. You can do this by offering free counselling as a staff benefit, providing flexible working arrangements for therapy appointments, or sponsoring gym memberships.
Step 2. Eradicate points of wastage
In today’s world of technology, you might find that some duties that are typically completed by your cyber team can be done by Artificial Intelligence instead. You could look to enlist the
support of software to reduce the weight on your team’s shoulders. Furthermore, using techniques such as Agile project management, and providing Scrum training for a designated member of your cyber team, will help to streamline workflows.
Step 3. Prioritise tasks
Once this has been completed, you can start to sort through the list of tasks that remain - the ones that are piling up for your cyber team. Then, you’ll be able to create a smooth-running Agile system that prioritises the most essential tasks and ensures jobs are done effectively.
Questions to ask to prioritise tasks for your cyber team
To get started, there’s one thing you need to guarantee - that you aren’t misjudging which tasks are most important to your company.
You don’t want to put something at the top of the list that could have waited, creating further delays for essential duties.
Therefore, you need to evaluate the different projects and assignments on the go by asking these questions:
Is there a deadline for this task?
What is the risk if this task doesn’t get completed?
How long will this task take?
Who needs to do this task?
Is it possible for this task to be automated or reduced?
Can this task wait?
You’ll have to be really brutally honest with the answers, as this is the only way you’re going to start to narrow down which tasks need to be prioritised.
Once you start to identify which ones either pose a large threat to your business or need to be completed within a specific timeframe, you’ll be able to create a schedule that will tick all the boxes.
How to prioritise tasks for your cyber team
Admittedly, though, it’s not that simple. As the cyber environment continues to evolve, there’s going to continue to be an ongoing influx of tasks.
Therefore, you need to equip your team with the right skills to decide for themselves which duties need to be prioritised over others.
You also need to encourage them to speak to you when things are getting too much and they need additional support, whether that be from a new employee or a contractor.
Your best approach to achieve this would be to invest in extensive communication channels and educate your team on task prioritisation techniques. ZenKit recommends that your team:
Remains focused on long-term objectives.
Improves their time-management skills.
Identifies weaknesses in their day-to-day processes.
This will give them the ability to complete what’s most important to your organisation without getting overwhelmed by everything on their plate. Going forward, give them as much freedom as possible to control their workload as this will guarantee results.
“Task prioritisation will always be essential. Hitting the day’s end and realising that you have completed all critical tasks is an unparalleled feeling you always want to experience. However, it’s difficult to achieve this every day.
Therefore, you should also remain clear-sighted on the projects you can complete successfully.
With this focus, you’ll end each day feeling great about your daily progress and feel relaxed and comfortable while on your well-deserved break.” - Zenkit
The importance of task prioritisation for cyber teams
Regardless of the size or shape of your workforce, many cyber duties can’t be skipped or ignored. They are too important.
By equipping your team with the skills to strategise how they approach their tasks for the day, you can boost team morale, performance, and even productivity.
Still, even though you should grant your team the power to make their own decisions, you still have a responsibility to support them. It’s your responsibility to accept when you are simply asking too much of your staff.
Addressing work burnout with cyber recruitment
According to MayoClinic, a workload that’s too big is one of the leading causes of burnout - which can have damaging long-term effects on your organisation.
To combat this, you need to have a plan in place for busy periods when your cyber team is in high demand. Consider:
Building a network of freelancers that you can call upon.
Setting parameters to highlight at what point you need to hire new staff.
Establishing a relationship with a specialist cyber recruitment firm.
If you commit to these in advance of your cyber team becoming overwhelmed, you’ll be able to act quickly when unavoidable situations arise - like a spike in working expectations or a sudden change in staff availability.
Working with FR Cyber
For help expanding your horizons and driving change in your industry through intelligent recruitment, contact us.
FR Cyber is a dedicated team of specialist recruiters and genuine industry experts.
We cover all areas of InfoSec recruitment, such as SOC, Penetration Testing, Security Architecture, DevSecOps, Cyber Sales and more - offering both Contract and Permanent solutions.
As a Client, you can expect exceptional delivery and communication as a matter of course. As a Candidate, we'll treat you the way we'd like to be treated.
Check out our latest Cyber opportunities to find out more!
Paul Charles is a FR Cyber security specialist, to connect with him on LinkedIn click here