In the modern-day workplace, a high level of productivity is what managers expect from their employees. The bar is set high because they have to work in an on-demand society. Businesses are forced to keep pace with the demands of their customers because competition is fierce, and if one business can’t satisfy the appetite of the demanding and often fickle public, it won’t survive.
The greatest asset any business has is its workforce, and if employees are overworked and overwhelmed, they may find it difficult to complete all of their assigned tasks. Here are eight ways you can help your employees manage their workload.
Throw the Idea of Multitasking Out of the Window
Unless you have a group of extremely organised employees, you should encourage them to avoid multitasking. The business community has taught and encouraged the art of multitasking for years, but if you are looking for work to be completed in a timely fashion, and to be done correctly the first time, multitasking can actually be counterproductive.
If you take the time to think about what multitasking actually is, you will realise that employees who choose to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously aren’t doing any of them any justice. You wouldn’t want someone texting and doing their makeup while they are behind the wheel of a car, so you shouldn’t ask your employees manage more than one important assignment at a time.
Prioritise the Work
Encourage your team members to sit down at the beginning of each workday and review all of the tasks they need to complete. Have them organise them by level of importance. There will always be things that will need to be handled at the beginning of the day, but there are also things that can wait until the end of the day.
Prioritising tasks will provide a guide for employees to follow, and increase their efficiency.
Flexibility and Adaptability Will Serve You Well
One of the most important assets that an effective manager has is the ability to actively listen to those around them. If you are like most managers, you have stepped into your leadership role and your responsibilities are quite different from those of your subordinates.
The way that you might have approached the work may not be the most effective way for your employees. Ask for input from your employees and take their lead on the processes that work well and work with them to correct those identified as ineffective. Give your employees some room to get the work done, monitor their progress and step in and offer guidance as needed.
Think about investing in online people planner software to help your employees stay on track. Planning software will allow the details of the entire project to be seen by all members of the team. Because everything can be seen by all team members, online planning software provides the group the opportunity to collaborate with each other, share ideas and make suggestions or changes directly on the platform. This type of software also allows your team members to be set alerts encourages them to hold each other accountable.
Communicate and be Clear
One of the things that you must always be cognisant of is the way you communicate with your staff. You should always remember, not all communication is effective communication.
When you are working on a large project and the clock is ticking, clear, concise communication could make the difference between you meeting your deadline or missing it. When giving directives be sure to clearly state what your expectations are in terms of timelines and the work product.
When you are working on a timeline there are things you have no control over, but as a manager you do have control over the weight of the workload you place on your workforce.
Don’t set your expectations so high that you set yourself and your team up for failure. Think about each of your employees and what their capabilities are, and assign tasks and the complexity of the workload based on your assessments and each employee’s abilities.
Keep the Door Open
You should establish the kind of working relationship with your employees which allows them to feel comfortable coming to you to discuss the projects they are working on. If your employees feel they are overworked, overwhelmed and find you unapproachable, they are not going to be nearly as productive as you need them to be. Establish and maintain an open door policy with your staff.
Distribute the Difficult Tasks First
You have the ability as the manager to decide which tasks need to be completed and when. One of ways you can ensure that you staff stays productive and motivated is to assign the most time consuming and difficult tasks at the beginning of the day. Avoid assigning these types of tasks late in the day when staff may be mentally exhausted.
Don’t let your employees stress affect their work and don’t let everything pile on top of them. By implementing some of the above methods, you’ll be helping them become a much more effective employee.
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