How to get your staff to manage their work load


  • Author Doug Rawson
  • Published April 15, 2010
  • Word count 318

How to get your staff to manage their work load

When I was running my engineering business, one of my biggest challenges was keeping the workload balance distributed amongst the staff. What makes this particularly hard is when employees do not take responsibility for their own workload.

Many employees assume that it is your responsibility to keep them working rather than their own responsibility to know what needs to be completed and do it. I cannot count the times that I had an employee walk into my office to tell me that they were out of work. And they always seemed to do this just as I was leaving the office for a job site visit! This meant that until I got back, they were going to be killing time and costing me money.

I am not alone. I have seen this happen in architecture and engineering firms around the globe (most of these firms were not using a project management software solution). But there is hope.

FYI - Time Tracking Software is not the answer.

I discovered a way to eliminate this challenge, so here is the secret. Each Friday have everyone in your firm forecast which projects they plan to work on next week, and how many hours they plan to spend on each job. This forces them to plan their own workload. Have them fill in a simple table with their projected hours.

You can then use these projected values in your Monday kick-off meeting. You may also observe that your staff will be looking for work on Friday rather than waiting until they run out sometime next week.

So start a new Friday tradition and have all of your employees plan their workload for next week. You will be astounded at how much better your weeks start to look.

Visit to learn more ways to improve your architecture or engineering firm.

Doug Rawson, PE is a professional in the area of business management and frequently speaks at conferences on various topics. Learn more about project management at his company's website

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