1. Open up. The key to helping employees deal with their worries -- from layoffs to an outsourcing deal to a hellish project -- is communication. "Employees are thinking, I\u2019m a grown-up. Just tell me what\u2019s going on," says Linda Pittenger, CEO of People3, a Gartner company. "The great CIOs are very up front, and they keep the best people." 2. Be a good buffer. Don\u2019t take on more work than your staff can handle. Instead, explain the resources you have to business executives and invite them to help narrow priorities. If they have trouble understanding why IT can\u2019t do more, explain it differently. "Other operating departments are in the same boat," says George Brenckle, CIO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. "The radiology department isn\u2019t going to be able to do more exams while it\u2019s decreasing its staff. And as long as they\u2019re clear on what it is you\u2019re delivering, they understand." 3. Put project management controls in place. "There are always going to be busy times," says Steven W. Agnoli, CIO of law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh. "But even when there\u2019s more work to be done, having a very sequenced, systematic process to go through makes it less stressful." 4. Increase employee accountability. Giving individuals more control over day-to-day decisions actually alleviates their anxiety. "They want to be in control of their own destiny," says Rick Skinner, CIO of Providence Health System\u2019s Oregon division. 5. Identify individuals at risk. Overwrought employees may be hesitant to complain, so seek them out. "If someone\u2019s working on a 40-hour project that\u2019s now 40 hours overdue, I will assign an additional resource to the project temporarily and reschedule the delivery date to alleviate the problem," says Bruce Reirden, CIO at Care New England. 6. Cut the dead weight. Consider weeding out the bottom 10 percent of employees. "We have redoubled our efforts to manage poor performers out of the business," says William H. Miller, vice president of information services at Harris Corp., a $1.9 billion communications equipment maker. "It\u2019s not fair to the rest of the workforce who are busting their humps in tough times to have these poor performers by their side not carrying their weight." 7. Walk a mile in your staffers\u2019 shoes. "Now more than ever, I\u2019ve found that I have to get down into the trenches and spend more time in my staff\u2019s workplace to make sure I\u2019m aware of the pressures they\u2019re under and to show my support," says Kevin Molloy, CIO of Vancouver International Airport. 8. Offer creative outlets. Giving employees just a little time each week to devote to strategic, forward-thinking work rather than the immediate task at hand can go a long way toward staving off burnout. 9. Get more bang for your training buck. While you can\u2019t offer big bonuses to reward your staff, you can offer them free exposure to new skills -- and often without a big budget. Explore alternative training options. Reirden applied for a state-sponsored technology training grant, while Agnoli insists on cutting-edge training from his major vendors. 10. Alert employees that outsourcing does present opportunities. Show employees that the increased use of outsourcing or contract workers isn\u2019t just an excuse for layoffs. Show them the more strategic skills they can acquire in the new situation, such as business process management and systems analysis. 11. Don\u2019t forget the recognition. Making time to celebrate employees\u2019 successes is critical, whether it\u2019s a mention in a company newsletter or just a pat on the back in the elevator. And money (if you\u2019ve got it) doesn\u2019t hurt either.