How To Balance Team Workloads Before Resourcing Becomes A Problem - Deepstash
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Maintain Open Lines Of Communication

Maintain Open Lines Of Communication

There are calculations that you can use to figure out your team’s capacity, and they can be a helpful starting point. But, while those formulas work well on paper, they fail to account for the human emotions and experiences that impact our work. 

That’s why the best way to get an accurate read on workloads is to have honest and candid conversations with team members. Even a brief weekly check-in provides an opportunity for them to share if they’re feeling stretched thin or if they have some wiggle room to take on some additional responsibilities. 

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Keep A Watchful Eye

Open communication is crucial, but it’s not a fix-all—especially since people aren’t always comfortable getting vulnerable and honest with their managers. In fact, more than half of employees admit that they’re afraid to discuss their mental health with their boss.

Continuing to prioritize opportunities for feedback and conversations can help them slowly start to realize that you’re in their corner. But, in the meantime, it’s also your responsibility to maintain a high-level overview of what’s happening on your team so that you can take steps to address workload issues—even before they’re dropped on your lap or in your inbox. 

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Take Action On Feedback

Little will frustrate your team members more than to listen to their feedback and not make any changes. Their resentment will fester (not to mention, their burnout will increase) while you either keep going as normal or continue to tell them, “We just have to get through this busy time. Or this project. Or this quarter. And then we can reevaluate.”

Yet, that’s what far too many managers do. 59% of employees say that their employer has asked for their feedback, but 18% of employees say they don’t actually see any meaningful changes following those conversations.

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Learn To Make The Hard Decisions

There are things you can do to shift around priorities, reassign tasks, and extend deadlines to relieve some pressure on your team. 

But, here’s the hard-to-hear truth: No amount of juggling will fix a workload that’s overwhelming in the first place. 

That’s why you need to recognize when it’s time to set firm boundaries for your team, such as: 

  • Telling another department that you’re unable to meet a request in their timeline
  • Prioritizing a task and giving team members permission to completely table others
  • Regularly evaluating what tasks are making an impact and eliminating ones that aren’t.

These types of decisions can be hard to make (especially for leaders who are used to saying “yes” and making it work), but it’s part of the responsibility of being a manager. 

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valentinasm

"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”- John Maxwell

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