Many leading companies today tout employee centricity as the heart of their corporate culture. For example, businessman and seven-time New York Times best-selling author, Harvey Mackay, has said, “If you believe, as I do, that your employees truly are your most valuable asset, you will do whatever you can to help them do their jobs as well as possible.” And many top leaders share this sentiment.
How well are companies managing this valuable resource, though? A recent Gallup study found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always. According to Wrike’s study on the impacts of workplace stress, burnout leads employees to lose sleep, “check out,” look for a new job, and more. Hiring new employees is not only time-consuming but also costly. Recruiting the best talent has evolved into a highly competitive and expensive market, costing U.S. companies $160 billion a year. On the flip side, highly engaged workers boost revenue growth by up to 2.3x.
When equipment and capital resources are overworked, the fix is often straightforward. However, burnt out employees need a more holistic solution. It all starts with enabling leaders with the right resource forecasting tools to help their employees manage their workloads with ease. That’s where Wrike Resource steps in.
What is Wrike Resource?
Wrike Resource is a collaborative resource and time management solution which helps companies optimize their resource planning and allocation. It ensures leaders have the right people working on the right projects at the right time.
What are resources? Resources are the people, equipment, and/or money needed to complete a project. According to GoSkills, poorly managed resources can be both under-allocated and over-allocated. Under-allocation, when there are more resources than needed to complete the job, results in wasted money, potential, and productivity. Over-allocation, when resources are overworked, leads to high stress, poor morale, and a lower standard of work.
Wrike’s intuitive resource management solution empowers global project teams to master their most valuable resource: their people! With Wrike, leaders can optimize project scheduling, balance workloads, and increase productivity. Days of guessing under- and over-allocation are left behind, with reporting that helps you continue to refine and improve your resource management. Let’s dive into four ways Wrike Resource helps teams avoid employee burnout.
4 ways Wrike Resource helps teams avoid employee burnout
1. Visibility into team workload for project planning
It’s critical to plan both planned and inbound requested projects with a bird’s eye view of your team’s entire workload. Wrike Resource’s intuitive design makes it easy to assign the right resources to the right projects, allowing project managers to allocate work hours to best suit each team member’s strengths and availability.
Wrike Resource helps project managers at this critical planning stage get full, real-time view of their teams. With Task Effort, managers can plot how much time is required to complete the task. For example, a task can span multiple days but require only several hours of work a day from each of its assignees. This ensures an accurate allocation of labor at every stage of the project.
Why do we need timesheets in project management? Well, according to Project Management Institute's 2018 survey, 21% of projects fail due to taxed resources, and inadequate resource forecasting accounts for 18% of project failures. Even when we do our best to plan our work, inbound work requests also throw a wrench in planning. Nearly 60% of creatives reported receiving ad hoc requests at least once a week — 80% for departments with 51+ people.
Wrike Resource provides full visibility into your entire team’s workload, even down to the individual team member level. You can quickly visualize each team member’s schedule and projects — who’s doing what and how long each task will take — in Workload Charts. This insight into team availability helps you make plans that minimize conflicts and best utilize resources.
While it can be tempting to dive into projects ASAP, beginning projects without the right resources actually can extend the end date of a four-month project to a year according to Gartner’s Resource Capacity Planning for PPM Leaders report. That’s three times longer than if you’d have managed resources properly at the planning stages. Having a resource forecasting tool like Wrike Resource to give you all the planning information you need helps your team start projects at the right time, with all the tools to succeed.
“The time management and workload overview helps with resource management because the team has a clear overview of whether or not a project can be completed within the time parameters provided. This ultimately protects our employees from working beyond their capacity. “ — Thomas Mix, Director of Strategy & Business Development, Digital Planet
2. Optimize team performance with more balanced workloads
Wrike’s flexible resource allocation allows project managers to distribute work hours in a way that best suits each team member’s strengths and availability. Enable your team to work collaboratively and avoid project delays due to unbalanced workloads.
Time and time again, studies show that taking on too much work and multitasking reduces efficiency. A common sports analogy called “mental quicksand” is a perfect example of this in projects. Everything is going well, and then something goes wrong, and then another thing goes wrong, ad infinitum. All of a sudden you’re in a downward spiral — sinking in and it feels like you can’t get unstuck. Your project is behind schedule, it’s impacting other projects, and the stress of it all does more than just create poor performance on this one project. Even the brightest employees will dampen under the pressure of a poorly managed workload. We can all relate!
Once you’ve mastered being able to plan your resources with Wrike Resource with workload views, you can begin to look at optimizing productivity with tools like assigning tasks by Job Role. Moving beyond “do we have enough labor to complete this project” to “how can we assign work in a way that optimizes productivity.” More than simply being able to finish projects faster, balancing workloads increases performance, productivity, happiness, and creativity for the long haul.
“With Wrike Resource we were able to reduce the number of simultaneous projects people were working on from 12 to 3. We used Wrike Resource to fully schedule out projects in order to see conflicts and then managers were able to have the insight to make decisions on what was a priority and what could be reassigned. We actually got everything done, did it better and were able to do even more.” – Derick Dahl, Director of Product Management at Dana Innovations
3. Agile reprioritization to keep projects on target no matter what
Wrike Resource enables teams to work collaboratively and avoid project delays that result in unnecessary operating expenses and business inefficiency. Easily re-prioritize projects with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, so you can move projects forward and reduce unexpected operating expenses even when circumstances change. Make adjustments to task duration, the effort required, and assignees in real-time, or assign tasks from backlogs when your team is available to take on more projects.
No matter how rock solid your plan is, things are bound to come up: urgent requests, shifting business goals, unexpected sick days. Being able to adjust timelines and reassign tasks helps leaders avoid employee burnout and align with changing business goals or requests.
In fact, 20% of professional services employees say last-minute changes to requirements are the top reason for project delays. And in our study of workplace stress, the top stressor was “bottlenecks and waiting on others.” When your team hits a roadblock, being able to react with agility not only helps you move the project along quickly, it helps overall team morale and keeps them from burning out on work that isn’t moving anywhere.
Instead of projects getting stuck in a limbo of frustration, Wrike helps leaders to agilely prioritize and reprioritize work, powered by the workload visibility. Managers can quickly spot and remove bottlenecks while having all task information in one place, fostering accountability and empowering team communication.
4. Increase resource utilization with automation and reporting
Wrike Resource provides a simple way to track time spent on tasks and continuously improve resource projections. Keep work and track work all in one place so you can compare how much effort was planned versus how much time was actually required for any given task.
In a recent study, 38% of employees who track time said they still use manual processes like paper time cards and traditional punch clocks. Wrike Resource’s Billable Time and Timesheets features help leaders bring those tasks into the digital age where they can automate time-consuming administrative tasks and create reports that improve processes.
With Wrike Resource, a consolidated timesheet automatically populates all assigned tasks so working hours can be logged at any time. Your team can add multiple entries a day and make comments to provide further context if needed. For quick and easy billing, Wrike timesheets' weekly view allows you to instantly see the total time spent daily across all tasks and a weekly summary of time spent on tasks.
Employees get frustrated when they’re bogged down by manual administrative work and aren’t seeing the impact of their efforts. In one study, workers claimed 39% of their actual workday went to job tasks. The other 61% was eaten up by busywork and administrative duties. Using a Wrike timesheet can help combat this.
In fact, 64% of professional services employees say they spend three or more hours a week just documenting hours worked according to our Professional Services Benchmark Report. Our respondents said that automation was a key opportunity to improve employee happiness and customer relationships. 3 in 10 of those surveyed said they could achieve 30-39% more work if technology were able to automate repetitive, administrative parts of their job — 1 in 5 (22%) say they could achieve 50% or more work! Wrike Resource helps leaders automate painfully manual processes, optimize work, measure employee impact, and empowers teams to spend their time doing work they love.
With everything in one place, leaders can create custom Wrike Reports in easy-to-digest views like Gantt charts or Table View. They can compare planned effort versus actual time spent to measure team performance and improve projections. This enhanced visibility helps leaders to improve future resource utilization and planning. It also empowers teams to see the impact their work has and how’s improving.
Ready for Wrike Resource?
Happy employees commit 26% fewer clerical errors, experience 79% lower burnout, and have a 61% lower likelihood of churning compared to unhappy employees. Whether you’re ready to add Wrike Resource tool onto your belt or want to learn more, start building employee centricity into your team with this questions checklist:
- Do you have real-time visibility of your team’s workloads?
- Are all the resources ready for you to start your project?
- Have you mapped out the project with dependencies and spotted potential roadblocks?
- What process will you use to manage incoming work requests?
- How is your team’s workload balanced? How many projects are they working on?
- Does your team have a clear way of viewing their work and timelines?
- Can your team reprioritize and stay productive despite roadblocks?
- Are you able to reprioritize work easily?
- What administrative tasks can you automate?
- Are you reporting on expected versus real effort and adjusting resource allocation?