Consumers put a lot of pressure on companies to deliver fast, reliable, and efficient services, but this often comes at the cost of employee wellness. Too often, employers will pile on the work and up their expectations to keep up with demand with hopes it’ll improve productivity.
Unfortunately, the opposite occurs as deadlines become shorter and shorter. As employees start struggling with their workload, their stress, physical health, and sleep schedules are impacted.
A hefty employee workload is going to cost businesses their start talent, so it’s up to employers to get it under control. They must empower their human resources (HR) department to manage employee workload if they ever hope to maximize their productivity, efficiency, and ROI.
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How Human Resources (HR) Can Manage Employee Workload
Unless your workplace is understaffed due to lack of funding, your employees should never feel like they’re struggling with their workload. Here’s how HR can help manage employee workload.
1. Advocating for Employing an Assistant
If your employees are so busy that they’re feeling overworked, then you have a very good reason to employ an assistant. Personal assistants can allow the human resources department to focus more on employees rather than tedious administrative tasks or calendar management.
The cost of hiring an executive assistant is more than worth it when you consider the time you save. This is especially true if you hire a specialty assistant who’s licensed or certified to handle payroll and data management. Some assistants can even be digital marketers or trainers.
Since executive assistants can manage workflows, you could simply hire one to delegate projects more effectively. This would immediately cut down on your staff’s high workload.
2. Reworking the Company Culture
It’s easy to say, “Talk to me if you have too much work,” but it’s harder to prove that they won’t be punished when they do. Their fellow coworkers are likely working beyond their capacity, and if they’re not complaining, other employees may feel pressured to work just as hard as them.
Science tells us that the average person can work two to three hours a day and stay productive, and the most productive people can work 6 hours a day. 6-hour workers are extremely rare.
In our culture, it’s normal to work 8 hours a day, meaning you’re already stretching your employees beyond their limits. If workers are routinely working overtime and encouraged to do so (i.e., awarding people who work late), you’re saying that overworking is a positive thing.
HR has to rework its company culture so that the focus lies on the value of the work done, not the quantity. They should also make sure tasks are delegated properly. If human resources can separate work equally, they won’t have to wait for employees to request a change. Both initiatives take pressure off employees who may not want to rock the boat or get reprimanded.
3. Switch to Flexible, Hybrid, or Remote
It’s a bit ridiculous to expect all employees to function in a 9-5 office environment, and science backs this up. 87% of respondents in a FlexJobs survey stated that remote work options improved their overall work-life balance and made them more productive and much happier.
As employees often work better when at home or with a flexible schedule, implementing a hybrid or remote work policy will only benefit the workplace. That way, they can work when they’re most productive or take breaks when they’re feeling stressed, sick, or overwhelmed.
4. Utilize Project Management Software
Employees struggling with their workload will instantly breathe a sigh of relief when HR installs project management software. All-in-one project management solutions, like monday.com, are essential if you manage a hybrid or remote team, as they can be accessed from anywhere.
The primary purpose of project management software is to assist project managers as they maneuver through project stages, and this comes with several advantages, like the following:
- Effortless Project Planning
- Balanced Resource Management
- Pipeline Forecasting
- Improved Team Collaboration
- Up-To-The-Minute Reporting
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
- Streamlined Project Communication
When project leads know who’s doing what and employees know who to contact for project information, everyone benefits. For one, project leads can delegate tasks to employees based on their strengths and availability, reducing the risk of overloading their team members.
For another, employees have a bird’s eye view of the project, providing deadline transparency. They can also use these platforms to upload, send, or receive documents, track their time, and check if work is delegated fairly. If it isn’t, they can apply for projects or speak to their lead.
Finally, the human resources department has clear proof if someone’s talents are over or underrepresented. This allows them to fight for a fairer workforce that represents everyone.
5. Focus on Stress Management
Workplaces have busy seasons (which employers should prepare for), but sometimes, they can get chaotic without notice. Since HR won’t have the time to hire new employees or freelancers for help, they have to coach their current team through the nearly unmanageable busy period.
The fastest way to help an employee who is struggling with their workload is assurance. HR can explain to their coworkers that this period is temporary and that they prioritize their health over their output. Tell them to take a long lunch, go for a walk, get coffee, or meditate if necessary.
If this busy period isn’t temporary, HR can switch from a coaching role to a hiring role. Don’t wait too long to manage employee workload, or you could cause rampant burnout in your staff.
Employees struggling with their workload want to know that their human resources department is dedicated to improving their stressful work conditions. The best thing HR can do to build trust in their coworkers is to manage employee workload before mental health is negatively impacted.
To manage workload effectively, HR can employ an assistant, improve the company culture, switch to a remote-friendly workplace, utilize project management software, and focus on stress management. The most successful workplaces will work all five into their policies and offices.