Rebalance your team’s workload to prevent an exodus
When you run a technical services company, your employees are the heart of your business. Not only are they the face your customers see but they are a huge part of the economy of your company. When someone leaves – or ‘quiet quits’ – it affects everything from the service you offer to the company culture to customer satisfaction. And the financial impact is significant. According to one calculation done by Gallup, the average cost of replacing an employee is one half to two times that person’s salary.
Gallup estimates 59% of the world’s employees are quiet quitting
A Monster study found that 61% of workers say they are burned out, 60% feel they are underpaid, and 72% say they have been asked to work extra time outside their contracted hours. Many of those people are disengaging from work – a phenomena known as quiet quitting. Gallup estimates 59% of the world’s employees are quiet quitting and 51% are actively seeking a new job.
And here’s the thing about losing people: It’s mostly preventable.
According to that same Gallup poll, more than half of the people who left a company said their manager could have done something to stop them.
How to stop the exodus
Let’s do some math: If a solution architect on your team – earning $134,000 annually – becomes disengaged and eventually quits, that could cost your company anywhere from $67,000 to $268,000. Even before the person quit, though, the quiet quitting was expensive. Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion dollars.
It makes every kind of economic and business sense to spend time, money, and effort improving the work satisfaction of your team. But how?
You might have considered corporate retreats or team building exercises to improve your culture. You might be shopping for better benefits. You could spend a fortune to create a more comfortable workplace or encourage remote or hybrid work.
Don’t get us wrong, these are great ideas, but the reasons people most often give for being unhappy at work are simpler than that: They are overworked and have no time for life. Or they don’t have enough work, which leaves them feeling there is no opportunity for growth and development.
So, before you go shopping for foosball tables and couches, start by balancing your team’s workload.
Data for better balance
Creating a balanced workload for a team isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s quite easy. But only if you have a system that collects and displays the right data in real time.
For example, let’s say you have a team member, we will call her Jen, who is highly competent, cheerful and communicates well. She is your first pick when you need to send someone to deal with a new or unhappy client because people like her. She’s good at – and enjoys – problem solving, too, so she often gets pulled into challenging situations. Because she has two children, she often works from home. So, she might be out of the office for days at a time.
Another employee, Fred, is an excellent technician but he tends to be irritable, so he rarely meets with clients. He always works in the office and tends to work long hours.
Without the right data, a manager could very easily assume that Fred is carrying a bigger workload. In fact, he is quite vocal on the topic. He insists that Jen, while valuable, is carrying a lesser load because she spends time during the workday with her children.
A glance at the Resource Capacity Analysis dashboard in Moovila’s Perfect Project, though, tells the truth.
A clear picture of real workloads
Because Jen works at home, often well into the evening, and spends a great deal of time onsite with customers, much of the work she does is invisible to Fred – and to a manager who doesn’t have the tools to measure it. She is, in fact, working well over capacity. The workload she is currently carrying is unsustainable. Fred, despite his beliefs, is also working over capacity but only slightly. He is not doing more work than Jen.
A manager could easily make the wrong assumption here. Attempting to increase Jen’s workload, pay Fred more than her, or not recognizing the commitment and time Jen has been putting in would cause her to feel undervalued. She might even interpret this as sexism or maternal bias, exacerbating a problems that already account for a lack of diversity in the workforce – one that is increasingly leading to lawsuits. She will probably disengage and eventually leave. Fred, too – believing in his own myth – might do the same.
Perfect Project’s Resource Capacity Analysis is based on real work – completed tasks and tracked time. It is available at a glance in the dashboard and provides an accurate picture of workload no matter where or when that work happens – or if Fred or their manager is there to witness it.
Jen could use this dashboard to argue for a lighter load, more money, or a promotion. A manager could use it to prove to the irritable Fred that he is not being overburdened because Jen has children.
Better still, that manager can quickly use the Resource Capacity tools to rebalance the workload by shifting some of the work that’s overloading Jen and Fred to a newer team member who is working under capacity – a situation that can also lead to disengagement and departure. Now
no one is working over – or under – capacity.
Rebalancing workloads prevents turnover
Perfect Project will instantly pull up a list – based on employee skills – of team members who possess the requisite abilities to help on the projects that are pushing both Jen and Fred over capacity.
A few clicks in the Task Assignment dashboard quickly moves tasks off Jen’s heavy workload, and Fred’s slightly over-capacity one, onto someone who is underutilized, solving, in a few clicks, the two biggest reasons that people become dissatisfied with a job: Overwork and boredom.
Instead of potentially losing Jen, Fred, and the underutilized person to quiet quitting or your competition, everyone feels seen, has a comfortable workload, and can balance life and work while feeling necessary at work.
Jen will get more sleep, see her kids more, and feel seen and appreciated, rather than being pushed out of the company. Fred, disabused of his prejudiced assumptions, might learn, too, to see a more accurate view of his contribution, which might make him feel less imposed upon. (This could help with his grumpiness.) Even the employee you assigned some of Jen and Fred's work to is less likely to feel that there is no room to advance, since you have just trusted her with a valuable client.
Having an accurate picture of workload improves your management skills. It also empowers your team to advocate for themselves.
And the ability to rebalance that workload quickly, accurately, and easily is a primary method for preventing quiet quitting.
Think of all the posh benefits, comfortable office seating, and foosball tables you can buy for the $268,000 it could cost you to replace a solution architect. Or, if neither Fred nor Jen leave, double that amount.
Want to try our data-driven resource management tool? Book a demo today.