12 Apr Managing Your Team’s Workload
Employees struggling to manage their workload is often cited as the key reason for poor performance and this is no different for a team as a whole. A team has objectives and responsibilities just like any individual, only, perhaps more worryingly, there is not always someone clearly in charge of them. This means it is often the responsibility of a manager to ensure their team performs at the highest level and stays on top of their workload.
There are a number of workload pressures that consistently build up in the workplace and can cause deadlines to be missed. It is important to not attempt to block these pressures, as they are often unavoidable, but accept and deal with them in the most efficient way.
Change – Change is essential for a business to continue to be successful over a long period of time and hence should be welcomed, despite often bringing extra workload pressures. These may come in the form of learning new skills, liaising with new clients or working more efficiently. These changes within your team should be recognised early and planned for, rather than attempting to avoid them.
New management/team members – Often new management/team members can cause a disruption in a method your team was comfortable with, this, however, should be welcomed as an opportunity to learn and grow as a team.
Deadlines, customers, absences and self-generated pressures can all add to your team’s workload and should be recognised as potential barriers to performing at the highest level.
Often in the workplace you will already feel pushed to complete all your tasks on time, when you are burdened with extra work, or a deadline changes. It is important to react to these changes in a positive manor, despite the seemingly worrying task ahead.
Positive attitude – Positivity amongst your team members can help a sense of responsibility, create motivation and present an opportunity to develop new skills.
Managing their time – Creating a schedule for your team to work to can help prioritise tasks and help your employees understand the task at hand. It may also be necessary for you to ask your team members to work longer hours in order for the task to be completed. However, your employees will still appreciate a sense of responsibility for managing their own time so be aware of this.
Focusing on priorities and getting help from other teams can also reduce your team’s workload in this stressful time.
As is the same with managing your own time, it is also important to say no to certain requests of your team.
Define your team’s goals – This can help knowing when to accept work for your team and when not to. If a request is the responsibility of another team and you cannot fit it into your team’s workload, it is important to say no.
Understanding exactly what is being requested of your team and explaining the reasons why you cannot complete it will help this process.
Dealing with a heavy workload can create a sense of achievement within your team and this can be used to motivate and reward team members. This can enhance skills, positivity and motivation for future workload issues. Therefore, managing your team’s workload is essential for individual and team development, as well as delivering your team’s aims.