How to Help Your Team Manage Their Workload

Managing your team’s workload can seem like an impossible task at times. Your business might be growing at a rate of knots, and your team are doing everything they can to keep up. Or maybe the pandemic has taken its toll on your business and ramped up your team’s workload. Whatever it is, heavy workloads put pressure on your employees, and that pressure can affect their well-being, performance and productivity. 

It’s crucial to help team members who are struggling, but it’s essential to find the right ways to help your team. Approaching the situation in the wrong way can have the opposite effect or lead to your team burning out. We’ve put together this guide to help you help your employees. It’ll show you how to spot signs of bad workload management and different ways to help your team improve. 

Signs of Bad Workload Management

If your team are struggling with their workload, they might start to look for a new job. Most employees enjoy hard work, but it can cause resentment if unrecognised. This can cause even your best employees to look for a new job or start slacking off at work. 

It’s crucial to spot the signs of poor workload management to keep your team happy and productive. The signs to look out for include:

Missed Deadlines 

If your team isn’t getting their work done on time, it can cause massive disruptions to your business. It can affect your relationship with clients and cause tension between departments. While this can be incredibly frustrating,  it’s essential to root out the cause of the delays. Nobody enjoys missing deadlines, so look into the causes. Find out how much time your team members are spending on tasks and how they communicate with each other.

Communication Breakdown 

The working world has changed pretty drastically over the last few years, and the slow move to remote working has become a permanent solution for many businesses.  Remote work helps your team’s work-life balance, but it can make communication difficult. If one of your team members isn’t communicating well, they may be just getting their head down. At the same time, they could easily be burying their heads in the sand. Keep in regular contact with your team members to check where they are with everything and see how you can help.

Increased Sick Leave 

If you’ve noticed that a member of your team is taking more time off sick, it should be a cause for concern for two reasons. Firstly, they may have an ongoing health condition that they need support to get through. Secondly, it could be a sign that they’re about to burn out. The stress of a high workload can present itself in several ways that are difficult to recognise. It’s common for employees to take more time off when struggling with stress, so keep an eye out for it.

A Significant Drop in Quality of Work 

If you notice that one of your team member’s work quality drops, it could be a sign that they’ve got too much on their plate. Have an open discussion about their work and do everything you can to show that you’re there to help, not chastise. There are various reasons for a drop in work quality to look out for. It could be more responsibility in or out of work, health concerns or a heavy workload. 

3 Ways to Help Your Team Manage Their Workload

As you can see, there’s not one single cause for workload mismanagement, and as such, there’s no single cure. Your workload management strategy needs to be multi-layered to be effective.  Here are a few ways that you can fine-tune your approach:

  • Make expectations clear — Speak to your entire team about your expectations. Focus on quality of work, communication, teamwork and deadlines. It’s a massive help to your team to see you lead by example and to have a clear set of expectations that they need to meet. Reassure them that sometimes they may not meet these expectations for one reason or another. But also show how crucial communication is in those circumstances. 
  • Get employee feedback — Often, the reason for missing deadlines or poor quality work is confusion. Many employees are hesitant to come forward to ask for help as they fear that they will look incompetent. Many employees suffer from imposter syndrome, feeling underqualified for their roles. As a manager, you need to reassure your employees that you have faith in their work. When supported, your team will openly give you constructive feedback.
  • Track productivity and progress —   One of the big mistakes managers make is micromanaging. Keeping tabs on your team is essential but not to the point where you watch everything they do. One of the best solutions is to use time-management and tracking tools. Employee monitoring software gives you the chance to see who needs help and who can take on more responsibility.

Helping your team manage their workload can give your company a massive boost. It will help your team be more productive and efficient by keeping them focused and engaged without pushing them too hard. It will help your department be more effective and efficient by keeping them focused and engaged with their work without pushing them too hard. 

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