How Can Workforce Planning Help Prevent Employee Burnout?

Have you ever felt physically or mentally exhausted at work? Do you often feel overwhelmed to cope with work pressure? Or did you experience reduced professional efficacy?

If yes, these signs indicate that you are facing burnout. However, you are not alone.

McKinsey’s survey reveals that 49% of employees globally feel burned out at their workplace.

While work pressure in moderation is good to stay focused and disciplined, it can backfire drastically on exceeding the threshold, resulting in burnout. This often happens when an employee strives to go beyond their limits to surpass expectations and achieve recognition as the “overachiever”.

This article discusses what employee burnout is, its causes and consequences, and how workforce planning can help prevent it.

Let’s get started:

What are the consequences of employee burnout?

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The World Health Organization defines burnout as a type of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It impacts the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of a person.

The prominent signs of burnout are feelings of exhaustion, negativity related to the job, and reduced efficiency. Various possible reasons for burnout can be a lack of autonomy over the working style, work overload, unclear expectations, inefficient workflows, peer pressure, biased treatment, personal issues, etc.

Employee burnout can cause numerous repercussions, as follows.

  • Sub-optimal work quality – An overworked employee can find it challenging to accomplish multiple tasks while maintaining efficiency. As a result, they may fail to upkeep the work quality in the long run.
  • Poor performance – A constantly stressed employee can lose interest in work and find it challenging to get themselves back on track. It, in turn, can directly hamper their performance as they may not be able to meet expectations and goals as earlier.
  • Unplanned attrition – Employees who are always under high work pressure and constantly overworked are likely to leave their current organization for better opportunities. Thus, increasing the employee turnover rates.

Given the reasons and adverse effects of burnout, let’s understand how workforce optimization can help prevent it.

5 Ways Workforce Planning Helps Prevent Employee Burnout

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Workforce planning is the key to maximizing the potential of the talent pool across various projects while averting burnout.

The following are the ways it helps:

1. Establish feasible deadlines for every task

Effective workforce planning enables the manager to identify the tasks and sub-tasks involved in a project while keeping in view the complexity involved, skill requirements, dependencies, etc. Accordingly, they can estimate the time to complete each task and set a realistic deadline.

This way, establishing feasible deadlines keeps unnecessary pressure off the team members and fosters a stress-free working environment. It thus helps avoid burnout and boosts overall efficiency.

2. Enables resource allocation based on skills and availability

Workforce planning enables the manager to identify the best-fit resources by looking into the qualification, skills, experience, and availability metrics. Accordingly, they can assign them to suitable projects.

For instance, managers can prevent the allocation of underskilled or junior resources to a critical or high-priority task, which can cause schedule overruns and burnout. At the same time, they can also ensure that no resource is booked for work exceeding their capacity and prevent burnout.

3. Helps track and optimize utilization levels of resources

Workforce planning helps the manager track resources’ utilization levels to ensure that no one is under or overworked against their capacity. If a resource is overutilized, the manager can use resource optimization techniques such as leveling and smoothing to optimize their utilization rate and alleviate the workload.

For time-bound projects, they can leverage resource smoothing that enables managers to pull in extra resources and accomplish the given tasks on time without overburdening existing team members. For projects with flexible deadlines, managers can implement resource leveling to adjust the start or end date of a project to avoid overutilization.

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4. Allows leveraging an on-demand workforce

Regardless of the resource pool’s potential and talent, prolonged overutilization and burnout can hamper employees’ productivity. Nevertheless, workforce planning helps the manager to understand the limitations of permanent employees and leverage an on-demand workforce when necessary.

For example, if a company is facing frequent and prolonged absences or unplanned attrition, it can increase the workload for the other team members. Hiring an on-demand workforce to handle excessive workloads can help reduce this additional burden on permanent employees. In complex projects, outsourcing non-critical tasks enables key resources to focus on critical tasks. It saves time and effort of the company’s resources and enhances efficiency.

5. Factor in resources’ planned leaves while planning

Workforce planning is not just about planning the resource allocations for current and future projects. It also involves providing the resources with the much-needed break on a regular basis. It should be done more meticulously for critical resources engaged in multiple projects and are more prone to stress and fatigue.

When planning schedules, the manager should consider the employees who have applied for leave. They can even encourage and motivate the resources to use all their paid leaves by the end of the year. It helps resources rejuvenate themselves and keep the constant stress at bay, preventing burnout.

So, it is evident that workforce planning is crucial to avoid employee burnout. Let’s understand how resource management software can make workforce planning more effective and avoid burnout.

How does resource management software help prevent employee burnout?

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Using SAVIOM’s resource management solution, the manager can achieve enterprise-wide visibility of all the resources and their attributes, including skills, competency levels, location, cost rate, available capacity, etc. Based on that, they can allocate the right resources to each job while preventing the allocation of under-skilled resources to any task, causing their burnout.

Further, it helps avoid the allocation of work beyond a resource’s capacity and prevents overburdening and burnout. Also, real-time utilization reports help track the utilization rates of all the team members. That way, managers can identify any instances of overutilization and implement resource optimization methods to ease the workload. In short, all these reports combined with 360-degree resource visibility help enhance workforce planning and prevent burnout.

Conclusion

The workforce is the driving force for an organization and plays a pivotal role in its growth, profitability, and sustainability. So, it is essential to implement workforce planning to ensure that the workload is optimized and does not lead to employee burnout. Organizations can leverage a resource management tool to strengthen their workforce planning strategy and make it more efficient.