Balancing the ledger of labour

DOES everybody pull their weight in your team? Do some people carry a heavier workload than others? Do people complain that their workload is too much? Or do you see the symptoms of workload overload in sick leave, staff turnover, poor standards, missed deadlines, grievances, etc? Reflect on these statements and answer these questions of your team: What needs to happen? What could we do better? • Instances and causes of work overload are explored. • More efficient ways of performing these activities are explored and implemented. • Team members who have an overload of work are identified. • We continually ask the question, “Is this the best use of our time?” • We identify staff who have spare capacity. • Jobs/tasks which could be allocated to another person are agreed. • We check that the other person is capable of performing the allocated task(s). • We check whether the way we or others do things is contributing to a work overload. • Our systems and procedures are reviewed on a regular basis to check that they are not contributing to the overload. • We explore what other areas can do to help to reduce work overload. • We reassess the priorities of the current workload. • We use a planner to plot the key regular tasks that have to be performed. • We eliminate low-priority tasks and focus on high-priority tasks. • We check that others are aware of the work overload of a team member. • Team members who assist others to reduce their workload are acknowledged and recognised. • We ask team members how we can all help each other to ensure that a team member is not overloaded. • Management does what needs doing to assist us to reduce work overload. • We implement and follow through on actions to reduce work overload. • We monitor the implementation of actions to check that work overload is reduced. • Time-wasting activities that contribute to work overload are explored and eliminated. • We negotiate changes with other areas whose actions are contributing to work overload in our area. • We check that the workload is evenly shared by all team members

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