Workload Balance = Employee Engagement
Good news everybody! There are now more jobs available in the US than there are job seekers, by nearly five million. This means that there is a lot of work out there. So much work that now we have a different problem – too much work, not enough people.
That’s not a problem, you think. Everybody’s been in that position before. There’s a big project coming due, and the whole team has their plate full. It’s stressful, but your people rally and do whatever they have to do to get the job done, including putting in extra time and effort. Once the project has been successfully completed, your team gives a collective sigh of relief. They give themselves a pat on the back for another project well done, and after a short break, your team starts to plan for the next project.
That’s the way it’s supposed to happen. That’s the way we want it to happen, but these days, there’s just too much work. Today, employees, often have to run headlong into working on the next project, which likely entered the planning stages while the current one was still in process. No sigh of relief, no break, not much of a pat on the back.
There’s just no time.
Balancing Business Needs and Capacity
Every company wants to be busy, and every employee wants to work. But when your company is working at, or even beyond capacity for too long, you risk burning out and losing your employees. And these days, at a time when workers have so many options available to them, employees don’t have to stay in an overburdened work environment. They can always simply walk out and find another job. Which, of course, can lead to losing your customers. Constant heads down, all out effort is not a sustainable business model.
Your job, then, is to find a balance between the needs of your business and the capacity of your employees. This goal isn’t easily attainable, but if you can reach that balance, you’ll see a more effective workforce and a higher level of employee engagement. Because, it turns out, the same things that lead to better workforce balance also lead to happier, more committed employees.
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Review your workload
Take time to review your workload, including priorities, challenges, and deadlines. Have an honest conversation with your managers and your people to review the status of your current projects, your plans for the projects that are currently in the pipeline and those that will be coming in the new future. You’ll need to see the big picture in order to move forward with balancing your workload.
Evaluate your capacity
Now that you know what needs to be done, and in what order, you’re in a better position evaluate your capacity. Are there any tasks that aren’t needed? Are there any duties that can be handled by another team? Work with your managers to make sure you’re reviewing the situation with clear eyes and not with tunnel vision. Continuing to do things the same way that they’ve always been done is part of what’s led to your current predicament. Other perspectives can be very useful when it comes to developing new ways to approach workforce balance.
Develop your internal talent pool
It’s easy to forget that we have talented people working for us who may stretch to fill other duties. You hired Tom as a corporate trainer, but perhaps he also has a background in technical writing. Emily in accounting may very well have experience leading customer service people.
Don’t ignore the value of continued
training for employees as well. If you have employees who are willing to step up to the plate and learn to do new things, you should give them that opportunity. By giving employees a chance to move into other areas, you can rebalance your workload while developing your employees and increase your employee engagement.
Maximize remote work
One of the most important lessons we learned from the pandemic was that it’s not necessary to have all employees working in the same location at the same time. In fact, employees who work from home are just as productive and just as effective as employees who come in to the office. They’re happier, too. Once again, strategies to better balance your workload can lead to better employee engagement.
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Add New Talent to Balance Workloads
When a company doesn’t have enough people with the right skills and experience, the natural inclination is to add to your staff. There’s a number of different ways to add talent, but your best bet is to use a variety of tactics to increase your talent pool. You’ll gain more employee diversity and, in a tight talent market, you’ll increase your likelihood of success.
Direct hire is the tried-and-true method of adding talent to your company. You place an ad, you get a bunch of resumes, you narrow down the list and interview people who seem like a good fit, and then hire the best one. Ta-daa! Doesn’t that sound easy?
Yeah, okay. It’s never been easy to find and hire the right person, especially now when competition is so strong. Do yourself, and your company, a favor and work with a good staffing company. They are better equipped to quickly find talent that is well suited for your company.
Bringing in temporary staff for a big project push can be rewarding, especially if your permanent staff is stretched thin and has been working overtime. Your staffing company can help you in this regard as well. As a bonus, if you have a temporary that is particularly helpful, you may be able to hire them directly. Consider their project work an audition for a full-time job.
Our economy and the way we work has changed drastically in a short period of time. We’d been under a talent crunch for several years, but since the pandemic,
the issue has only become more pronounced. Today, it’s more important than ever to show our employees that we appreciate and value them. Those companies that succeed in this new economic reality will be those which approach their business with an eye on improving employee engagement, and a big part of that is effective and proactive management of the workload. Because after all, the employees are the ones who are responsible for the work, and without them, a company ceases to exist.
Optimum Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing and HR agency serving both companies and job seekers alike. Optimum takes the stress out of the job and employee search–with over 50 years of combined hiring experience, we understand the business elements and bigger picture of staffing. We develop a deep comprehension of both client and candidate needs in order to find the right fit for you, lower time to fill, and continue to act as advisor and guide throughout the hiring process.
Whether seeking jobs or employees on a contract basis, temp, short- or long- term, remote or in-person, freelance projects or even outsourcing your HR department entirely, Optimum has the insight and expertise to destress staffing and help you succeed. For accounting, finance, IT, legal, marketing, HR, and engineering, Optimum is Staffing…Reimagined.
Curious how a staffing agency could help your business? Interested in outsourcing your SOW management? Schedule a free, 30 minute Discovery Call with Optimum to learn more.