The Ultimate Guide To Workload Management – Small Business Edition

If you manage a team, then workload management is no doubt on the top of your priority list. But it isn’t getting any easier. Since the pandemic, 55% of employee workloads have increased.

On top of that, employees cite workload as the top cause of stress in their lives. That means as leaders, we must find ways to become better organized and create less confusion and stress for our employees and everyone in the organization.

In this article, we’ll cover the importance of workload management and some key workload management strategies to help you run a more efficient, happy team going forward.

Importance of Workload Management

Why is workload management so important in 2022 and beyond? Properly managing team workload brings numerous benefits to your organization. Some of the primary reasons to manage workload more effectively are:

  • Employee Turnover: Make your employees feel more appreciated and less overwhelmed. They’ll have more motivation to stay the course instead of jumping ship.
  • Productivity: Having a more balanced workload means each minute is more focused and productive.
  • Managerial Time Management: You and other managers will benefit from having a clearly defined workload management protocol — cutting time and hassle from micromanagement tasks.
  • Reducing Errors (Payroll and Overtime): The last thing you want is to increase unnecessary expenses. Better workload management reduces errors and the need for overtime shifts.
  • Legalities (Scheduling Laws): Stay compliant so that you can accelerate your revenue goals without getting into lawsuit trouble.

Now that you understand the importance of managing workload better, let’s dive into strategies you can implement.

Workload Management Strategies

Instead of playing the guessing game, you want to have a consistent workload management plan. This plan, of course, will consist of several workload management strategies that work together to reduce confusion, stress, and expenses.

Let’s explore 5 key strategies every company should implement for managing workload:

1. Take Time to Plan

Managing workload effectively requires dedicated time. It’s hard to find the time and focus during regular work hours. However, management should schedule a few hours each week during downtime to do higher-level thinking.

For instance, restaurants are slower during off-hours between lunch and dinner. Just one session of clear thinking per week can map out what employees need to be on for each shift, and which skill sets are needed. That way, you can minimize overlap and confusion.

2. Write Out SOPs for the Team

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a great asset for any team. SOPs are documents that describe the “rules” for any system in a business. They allow managers and frontline workers to understand exactly what they can do, should do, and cannot do without any ambiguity.

For instance, when a manager knows that the SOP states “Do not schedule less than 2 bartenders at any given time,” then they can check their scheduling against employee training to ensure the restaurant is always staffed appropriately.

3. Understand The Resources Available to You

In a perfect world, you would have unlimited resources available at your disposal. However, each business has a limited budget and timeframe to work with. In addition, dealing with human capital instead of software requires a more empathetic approach to scheduling.

The person in charge of scheduling should ask themselves how many hours the average employee can work before becoming overwhelmed. And of course, you must understand if you have the budget for paying extra due to overtime.

Make a list of hard budget requirements and soft budget preferences. This framework will inform your schedule so that everything makes sense in terms of the bottom line.

4. Scheduling According to Capability and Training

Let’s say you manage healthcare staff. Some of the team members may be trained in anesthetics, while other team members focus on radiology. Still, you may have cross-trained employees who can do a little of both.

The key to maximizing your team is to ensure that you schedule the fewest team members necessary to meet client needs. As long as you can field more employees, it’s a good idea. But understanding what their core capabilities are lets you embrace lean scheduling when necessary.

5. Identify Busy vs. Slow Periods

Occasionally, you want to crack open your old schedules and really analyze the busiest and slowest times in your company. Over the past 12 months, which days, weeks, holidays, and months seem to be the slowest? Which are the busiest?

Using the previous time period as a reference point, reverse engineer when you will need extra staff. On the other hand, you might find certain days of the year to be “dead” — if you notice a consistent pattern, then cutting staffing on that day can save the company and reduce employee workload so that they have more energy on the days you really need them present.

Workload Management Excel Template

Using a framework can make it much easier for managing team workload. You’ll have a primary document to track shifts, schedules, and work tasks in one place. This workload management excel template is a great start in getting organized so you aren’t left with guesswork at the end of the day.


However, spreadsheets are basic in nature. Luckily, there are better workload management tools that can make you even more efficient, such as:

Managing Workload Effectively with ZoomShift

ZoomShift is one of the best, if not the best, workload management tools today. It can take you from wondering who is doing what, to having a full understanding of your workload management plan in seconds.

Among the features ZoomShift offers for managing workload effectively are:

  • Overtime scheduling: Overtime is stressful for employees, leading to lower productivity overall. But ZoomShift allows you to ensure that you schedule workers optimally to avoid burnout and paying extra for overtime.
  • Scheduling feature: Let employees see their schedules instantly online from any device. A few clicks and your managers can create each weekly schedule in minutes.
  • Shift swap: Life happens. Let your employees log in to a unified portal and exchange shifts instantly. You can ensure that managers approve scheduling changes with simple ZoomShift settings.
  • Cloud access: Don’t lose hours of hard work if your computer crashes. Everyone in the company can access schedules in the cloud from any internet-connected device.



With its comprehensive range of features, ease of use, and affordable price point, ZoomShift provides the best value for a workload planning tool on the market today.

Key Takeaways

The issue of workload management is crucial in today’s day and age. With employees’ ability to find an equal or better opportunity at a moment’s notice, your company must provide the right structure for success.

Of course, managing workload better does not mean necessarily cutting hours or increasing PTO. Instead, it means equipping your management and frontline team members with the right tools to efficiently manage their hours and schedules.

That way, the company can meet its revenue goals without wasting man-hours on the logistics — resulting in more time, productivity, and happiness top to bottom.

Check out ZoomShift for your workload management needs, and never let scheduling be a problem again for your organization.


Sam Molony

Sam Molony is the marketing strategist at ZoomShift, the leading employee scheduling software. When Sam's not publishing or promoting new content you can find him playing his guitar or baking.

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