How to Establish Your Employees’ Capacity
Posted on: 27 Jul 2017
Getting your team’s workload right is a fine balancing act. Ask them to do too much and standards could slip and their health and wellbeing may deteriorate. Get them to do too little and organisational output is impacted and employees will likely become bored. The starting point for determining the perfect workload is understanding the capacity of your team. So, here are five tools and techniques to help you do just that.1. Time and Motion Studies These studies are the gold standard for establishing the time and physical effort it takes to carry out a role. Managers can use the benchmarks that this approach delivers to decide on the content of job roles, establish workload, identify the capacity of individuals, teams and departments and assess performance. Time and motion studies require staff to document the time spent on specific tasks over the course of a specified period, often one to two weeks or a month. Every 15-20 minutes, employees stop working and record their activity selecting from a pre-defined list of activities to enable workload analysis. The total amount of work for a task is established by multiplying the average time taken to complete the task with the frequency with which the task is performed. Data is taken from all employees to establish benchmark estimates for low, moderate and complex work activities. This approach also reveals the time spent completing different aspects of the role such as administration. Good for: more physical jobs, identifying wasted effort or movements that could be eliminated through better working practises and ergonomic design thus improving productivity. Bad for: taking up significant time and effort that could be used to uncover inefficiencies exist by talking to employees. 2. Get Tech-Savvy If a time and motion study is all a bit much, turn to technology to track how your team spends their time. Toggl is a good example of time-tracking software that allows you to track the hours you and your team work and for which projects or clients. As a manager, this kind of software helps you stay on top of your team’s workload and gives you a real-time view of what everyone’s working on. This allows you to identify capacity and time sink-holes or find out who your most productive people are. You can also produce timesheets and reports for clients or your boss to ensure transparent working processes. Good for: getting a real-time overview and touch of a button reporting. Bad for: introducing another tool for everyone to get to grips with and remember to use. 3. Ask! Talking to your team is a good way to establish how they feel about their workload and identify any capacity. You can do this on a one-to-one basis or use a survey to allow people to give their responses anonymously. Example questions could include:
- Has there been an increase or a decrease in your workload in the last year?
- Typically, how much unpaid work do you do in a month?
- How would you rate your workload capacity over the past year