Getting your workload management spot on
30th November 2021
Want to challenge your workers without risking overwhelming them with workload and risking burn-out? Find out how effective workload management will enhance your team's productivity in our guide.
What IS workload management?
Simply put, workload management is the process of deciding what work to assign to which team members to maximise efficiency. There are lots of things to consider - do you distribute wok equally? Is this going to provide optimal results? Or does tracking of individual performance and key skills come into play to ensure best practise for the business as a whole, rather than everything being completely equal?
As companies try to enhance their efficiency, they sometimes forget that workload management isn't just about hours spent in the field, the number of individual jobs, or the total value of jobs for each day assigned to each worker. For a strategic approach, you need to use your knowledge of the individual skill set of each employee in order to plan, estimate, and track the work whilst also meeting the schedule commitments made to customers.
Here are out top tips for making the most of your employee's strengths to get that workload management spot on.
Plan employee capacity
Overwhelmed employees are counter-productive. Fact! Timely workload distribution will help you spot every time more hands are needed t get certain jobs done. Create a culture of hard work rewarded with a decent work-life balance. Decide on a cut-off time for sending out messages to your workers, and stick to it as lots feel compelled to reply even if the intention of sending the memo wasn't for them to read it then and there.
Discourage long hours
Don't borrow from tomorrow's time. Employees putting in long hours are often looking to impress in the workplace, and can treat the time spent on work tasks as an internal competition. Long hours can in fact reduce your team results, for one thing, the moment a person reaches the peak of 50 work hours per week, their productivity starts plummeting (according to a study by Stanford University). And after 55 hours, doing any work is just pointless: productivity is at its lowest in most people.
Any business in the mobile service industry has regular doses of change injected into it's daily routine. Being able to effectively manage that change is paramount to running a successful company. With this in mind, you need employees to recognise that their daily jobs list can be changed at the last minute in order to prioritise the most important jobs for the company. This could mean shifting jobs from one team or employee to another when one team gets held up at a job for any reason, traffic, illness, poor time estimation of the current job etc.
Introduce resource buffers
It's human nature to be overly optimistic in estimating how much time it will take to complete future work - especially with larger projects. You don't want to set up your team for failure, so plan in a buffer of 10% to ensure both customers and employees are satisfied with performance at the end of each day. There could always be a bank of work that could be moved into place if all goes exactly to plan.
Make the Most of Employee Strengths and Clarify Roles
Think of the skills, experience, competencies and talents required to complete a piece of job perfectly. If these align themselves perfectly to a particular member of staff or team, then use this to your advantage. Therefore matching work to skillset should be much more the priority over a 'first come first served' approach which may end up resulting in employee stress at being assigned a task they have no skills and knowledge of working on successfully. If you find work where the skills needed aren't apparent in your workforce, consider if it's a training need to build capacity in your team, or if you need to outsource the task this time. Set priorities
Set SMART goals
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound
Be realistic in setting goals and targets for your team to motivate and improve performance. Having achievable goals where there are small incentives and rewards will give them that feeling of worth and motivation to keep achieving.
Automate what can be automated
Don't give employees lists of arduous admin tasks that could be easily automated by using a system at some cost to the business. Calculate the amount spent on the software vs the amount of time it would take an employee to do the same job and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised at how cost efficient an automated system can be, as well as not burdening staff with boring tasks that could be littered with human error.