There comes a time in most jobs when you and your employees will have to deal with a heavy workload. These periods can be extra challenging. As a team leader, you are responsible for distributing work fairly, keeping your team focused, and on time to achieve your company’s objectives. So, how do you help employees manage workload effectively?
A great place to start is by reading these recommendations to help improve your team’s workload management. Make them part of your strategy, and watch your employees become top performers!
Be extra clear about priority work
Because of the pandemic, many things changed, including how we work. Before, in an office space, it was easier to see the business’s priorities as a whole, but since working remotely became mainstream, it’s trickier to know. As a team manager, you’ll probably have a more extensive understanding of setting priorities and managing workload. Things are constantly changing, and employees need to know the main goals of the business.
Whether you are working remotely or in an office space with your whole team, leaders must be clear about priorities. So, whenever a new project or task comes to them, putting their time and workload management skills to the test, they’ll know what is most urgent and what can wait. This way, the whole team will always stay on track to reach the companies’ goals.
Use workload management tools and software
An overwhelming workload comes from a failure to plan well. In business and life, things always come up, and it is impossible to be prepared for everything, but there are ways a team manager can plan for difficult moments.
Gone are the days where you needed to have meetings constantly to check where everyone is at. Having a system in place that lets you manage your team and have a clear view of where your team is currently at is priceless. This is what workload management tools are all about. You can use these tools to:
- Organize projects
- Set priorities
- Assign tasks
- Set due dates
- Review project advancement
- Plan ahead
Overall, these tools will let you have an excellent overview of your team’s time and workload management skills. Learn more about project management tools in our blog with the Top 7 Must-Have Tools for Remote Teams.
There is always something to be done, and multitasking seems like a time management shortcut to achieve everything. However, it is a myth. It turns out the human brain is not wired to do several things simultaneously, or at least you can’t expect them to be done very well.
Since your goal is to teach your employees how to manage workload effectively, avoid giving them many tasks, instead try clustering related work and let them focus on one task at a time. This way, you’ll steer clear of putting them under more stress, and you’ll elude receiving poor-quality deliverables.
By clustering related work, your team will save work hours in that task and project because they will have all the tools and know-how necessary from previously working on related tasks.
Assign tasks according to your employees’ strengths
People have different talents and aptitudes, and as a manager, you must be aware of each of your employees’ abilities. Help your colleagues improve their workload management by letting them do what they naturally do best, praise them when they do excellent quality work, and give them tasks that maximize their abilities.
Check-in with employees frequently about where they stand and what they want to learn about. It will help you incorporate any new skills they may have learned and those they wish to develop in future tasks. You’ll get the best in people when considering their opinions and letting them work in what they naturally do best or in what they are interested in.
Actively listen to your employees
Since working remotely became mainstream, everyone put their time and workload management skills to the test. According to Asana’s report, 71% of workers experienced burnout in 2020, and the number of employees working late rose to 87%.
A way to offset burnout is to understand how your employees are doing and understanding what is stressing them out. Many times motives can be personal, but sometimes you or someone in the team may be able to help them. Set meetings with them to actively listen to their suggestions, check how they are doing, and ask if there is something that you can do better. Once you have heard their recommendations, you can help implement processes that work and discard ineffective ones.
Employees will notice that you care about their wellbeing and will be more willing to share with you when something is wrong or causing them too much stress, no need to wait until burnout. Check out our tips on our How to Reduce Stress at Work blog for more ideas.
Recognize your teams’ effort
And last but not least, whenever a heavy workload comes your teams’ way, make sure they know their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated. When employees are recognized and rewarded for their valuable work, they will feel valued by the company.
For more ideas on how to recognize employees, don’t forget to visit our blog with 10 Awesome Last-Minute Gifts for Employees.
As companies try to maximize their efficiency, sometimes they forget that workload management is not just about hours and tasks. It’s about your employees, recognizing their needs, their talents, and their areas of opportunity. The best leaders work together with employees and facilitate the means to let them do their best work.
We hope these workload management strategies help you navigate your team through heavy workloads, boost your team’s performance, reduce burnout and stress, and keep your team on track to reach your goals.