How can the right tool help balance employee productivity and self-actualization?

Employee productivity is instrumental for your strategies, ideas and portfolio objectives to become a reality. You can have all the resources and budgets you require, but a team of underskilled or unmotivated employees will never be able to help you or your business thrive. And to this effect, one of the first things to address is the fact that they are individuals who have their own ambitions, aspirations, personal lives and temperaments.

However, a business functions on the productivity of employees and the value they generate. As a non-negotiable aspect, you will need them to complete the crucial tasks you want them to and at a pace that you find profitable.

This means, you cannot choose to prioritize either employee happiness or productivity. You need both. And the right workforce and capacity planning methodologies - that are dependent on the
resource management tools you end up using - are increasingly gaining momentum. 

So how best can you use a software to find the perfect balance between giving your people the blank canvas to paint their own stories and at the same time  grow your business?
Let’s find out:

1. Differentiate optimal from over utilization
Most often, when organizations consider re-strategizing, payroll cost-cutting measures are taken to be the most favoured route. Alternatively, overworking existing employees as a measure of scaling-up is yet another choice. However, both measures compromise on the quality of workforce that the organization is left with in the longer run.

On the other hand, optimal utilization that is practiced all-year round, irrespective of market vagaries helps establish a conducive atmosphere for employees to give their best in, without having them overworked. This motivates them to utilize all of their skills as well as their time to the best possible extent, thereby motivating them to deliver quality even when the going gets relatively tough. Having a science to project allocations goes a long way in building a good work culture. And your tool should give you the direction to plot over/underutilization as well as means to rectify it.

2. Make upskilling and training logical priorities
Given the sheer pressure to scale operations, close bigger deals and onboard Fortune 500 clients, the basic principles of upskilling that actually keep quality and value additions relevant, slide off the priority list. As a result, sales teams are forced to sell more than their creative or operational teams can ideally build or produce. Thereafter, the gap only widens until the nth moment when the execution is stalled due to last-minute training and hiring activities that become critical to delivery.

However, having appropriate upskilling and training initiatives that actively plug skill gaps and match upcoming demand with the right capacity to take on those tasks, ensures that you don’t slow the pace of your organization and at the same time makes your employees feel valued and appreciated. A team of skilled and appreciated employees can take you to heights you wouldn’t have imagined yourself. However, this entire cycle depends on a software that helps you build a skills inventory, update it in real time and derive insights that help shape training schedules.

3. Match allocations with availability, skill and costs
One of the most frustrating things to face as an employee is to be assigned tasks that do not acknowledge one’s area of expertise or availability reservations. As an employer, you face the other end of this spectrum that results in unsatisfactory deliverables and cost inefficiencies. Yet, finding the right resources for the right roles at the right costs is one of the most underrated aspects of management.

High maturity organizations that stress on the need for scientific capacity planning enjoy the benefits of seamless skill matches that result in enhanced employee engagement as well as improved performance. Having competencies and expertise levels mapped out across the organization and using this information to make skill-based allocations is ultimately a winning strategy to delivering projects that satisfy customers. The
resource planning solution you use must point you to the right people and the right skills from across locations.

4. Prioritise billable /profitable projects over others
Given how operations tend to take center stage, managers often forget to take a stock of all the activities that are keeping employees busy, and the actual priorities tend to get ignored. A traditional, hierarchical list of projects priorities on the other hand helps you keep cash cows steady and that way, your revenue health remains at its best.

In addition, revenue yielding projects need to be reviewed for the variances that maybe pulling the progress or the portfolio down. The billable projects, as the butter to the bread you earn, require the best of your people and their efforts. On the plus side, the gratification of good numbers give them the satisfaction of having contributed to valuable projects. A system that lets you take a stock of all your projects based on the returns you derive is critical to have priorities across all hierarchies aligned. This is another crucial module that your tool must accommodate you to achieve.

5. Establish team/departmental and enterprise-wide visibility
Ultimately, for management to embrace a friction-free flow of working, you’ll need to have visibility and transparency across the board, from the word go. This includes access to employee availability, project tracking, analysis of the costs involved and the skills applicable. This transparency is also likely to become the backbone to the work culture you go on to foster among teams. 

And in addition, agility is driven by transparency. And the two components are often what make employees feel like they are collaborating and creating something worthwhile together. Opaque practices and unjustified outcomes push them toward isolation more often than you’d imagine. This is ultimately why people choose to quit, which makes, ‘people often quit managers and not jobs’, more true than ever. Does your software help establish this visibility and transparency? If it doesn’t you should find a way for your team to discover it amongst themselves. 

Workforce optimization and resource planning tools are gaining popularity and legitimately so. If you haven’t already, it is time you prioritized on embracing a solution that lets you check off the right boxes. Build a team of productive, self-actualized employees and enjoy the long-lasting perks!

Author Bio

Saviom Software’s subject-matter expert of resource management, Aakash Gupta champions for best practices that propel organizations toward their most efficient scale of operations.

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