By Amanda Winstead
As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. That’s one reason you’ve spent time and energy — and money — to build a team.
However, having a team is only half the battle. The other half is to create a successful workload management plan so that you can maximize productivity without having to oversee everything yourself.
The best way you can do this is through responsible delegation, but to do that, you’ll need capable people handling day-to-day deliverables. Here’s how you can get there and put your business on the path to greater success.
Know Your Short and Long-Term Goals
The first step to running an effective business is to know what you’re trying to accomplish. As a leader, take some time to define what your company’s short and long-term goals are.
You may have a small team, so you’ll have to determine priorities — you won’t be able to do everything right away. However, knowing what you want to do will help you determine what tasks are most important, and you can delegate work accordingly.
For example, if you know you want to add a new product to your offerings, product development will be a top priority for a period of time. On the other hand, if you’re looking to shore up customer retention, you’ll assign more resources to customer service.
Assign the Right Tasks to the Right People
Next, it’s time to determine the strengths of each team member and assign tasks that take advantage of their skills. You might find that you need additional team members or that some of your employees aren’t a great fit. It’s important to have the courage to make corrections if necessary.
When assigning tasks to a small team, create roles that have fairly broad responsibilities. For one, your social media manager is in charge of creating a social media marketing strategy, implementing it, and measuring results. While those responsibilities include measurable goals, they’re also broad achievements. They can manage these goals by receiving specific instructions like implementing customer service on social media, helping gather information about your customer base, choosing the right social media tools, and more.
Create a Positive Work Culture
Workload management is about delegating tasks to team members, but in order for those team members to be effective, there needs to be a positive work culture. A great culture helps keep employees engaged and productive.
Employees thrive in a great work environment, whether the company is remote or in the office. As a business leader, you’re in charge of creating a positive culture where employees feel supported, empowered, and impactful.
Some ways you can create a positive culture in a remote workplace include creating clear policies that keep everything fair, having an environment where employees can speak up about their concerns, and using tools that facilitate asynchronous communication.
The same strategies help create a strong in-office work culture as well. Make sure everyone can create a healthy work-life balance for themselves and lead by example by taking time off, not asking employees to respond to emails during off hours, and more.
Small teams are susceptible to overwork and burnout, so be sure you’re promoting mental well-being on the team and checking in with your employees regularly.
Take Advantage of Tech Solutions to Boost Efficiency
Having a small team may make it hard to get projects across the finish line in a timely manner, but that changes if you take advantage of technology that boosts productivity and efficiency.
As you work to improve your efficiency, you’re already setting clear goals, delegating tasks, and creating a supportive culture. The next step is to understand your workplace processes and how specific technology tools can make them easier.
For example, your team could use project management software to ensure everyone has completed their tasks for a specific project and keep communication channels open if something hits a snag. You can also use marketing tools that automate communication with leads and help your sales reps understand which leads are the most likely to convert.
Other useful tech solutions include accounting software, an easy-to-use payment processing system, and a high-quality cybersecurity platform.
Adapt to Workflow Changes
As nice as it would be, workflow management isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process. Instead, it’s important to keep an eye on how things are going and adapt your processes as needed.
Make sure you’re listening to your employees’ feedback so you can proactively address problems before they become major issues. It’s also important to listen to customer feedback to ensure your customer experience is top-notch and you’re not losing customers to preventable mistakes.
Over time, your workload management will evolve, and that’s great — it means you’re growing, both as an organization and as a leader.
Workload Management Makes Small Teams Effective
A small team can get a lot done when they have the right leadership and task delegation. Don’t feel like everything is set in stone when you set it up the first time — instead, be open to growth and change based on what works best for your team and customers.
Effective delegation can be a catalyst for growth and innovation within your organization. When everything is going well, each team member flourishes and can maintain their work-life balance, mental health, and physical health — including you.