PROSPER – The pitfalls of workload management and how to avoid them


Workload management is the process of estimating, planning, distributing, scheduling, and monitoring the workload of teams and individual employees.   Some of the the pitfalls of workload management include:

  • A mismatch between goals and capabilities – it is difficult to let go of a promising prospect, but taking on responsibilities can have disastrous long-term consequences  
  • Unrealistic expectations – tasks might be more difficult than anticipated, or the capabilities of employees may be overestimated
  • Employee overload – a company culture of workaholism could easily result in employees willingly taking on over hours 
  • Uneven workload distribution – it could be due to poor information flow, or overreliance on a key highly  capable team members
  • Lack of management skills – sometimes managers are pushed beyond their capabilities, or struggle with certain personality traits
  • Unexpected issues – not all problems can be accounted for in advance, and sometimes that leads to the team entering crisis mode

In order to manage the workload effectively, it pays to consider the following aspects:

  • Proper planning – what are the main goals of the team at the moment, and are there sufficient resources available to achieve them?
  • Prioritising – if some resources are lacking, which are the activities to focus upon to create the biggest impact? Can certain administrative tasks, for example, be dispensed with or autometed? 
  • Realistic deadlines – is it possible for the team members to complete the tasks assigned to them without overworking? Has the work-life balance of employees been considered?
  • Managing resources strategically – how can employee’s workload be aligned with the organisation’s and their own personal goals? Will they require some new skills, so that trainings may be planned in advance?
  • Ensuring an even spread of tasks – both within a team and within a given time period
  • Minimising multi-tasking – it is a productivity-killer
  • Collecting regular feedback on the development of planned tasks 


If you like content like the one posted above, you will find more in our upcoming PROSPER training modules.