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June 30, 2022 David Malmborg

40 Ways to Assess the Efficiency of Growing Teams to Prevent Overstaffing

Insights from the Nivati HR Leader Brain Trust

The Nivati HR Leader Brain Trust group came up with some great ways that HR leaders can assess the efficiency of growing teams to prevent overstaffing.

The Brain Trust events are a place for HR executives to come up with new solutions to modern HR challenges. Below are some challenges that the group has voted to try and solve. This month’s focus was: Ways to assess the efficiency of growing teams to prevent overstaffing. To join the group, sign up here.

June 2022 HR Brain Trust Challenges

40 Ways to Assess Your Growing Team

Each HR leader submitted their solutions via chat. Here are some of the insights that HR executives came up with.

  1. “Have clear outcomes for each team person and ensure the outcomes are being met. Weekly meetings are essential and having an environment that encourages open dialogue will result in team members being able to say the difficult things if someone isn’t contributing very much.” – Lois
  2. “Metrics and then survey teams for their thoughts and feelings to reassess/readjust as needed.” – Kara
  3. “…defer to unit baseline metrics to budget.” – Al
  4. “Depends on the nature of the role – transactional activities can be assigned performance metrics and the organization can adjust staff to the anticipated workload – less transactional roles require more of a measure of work, group size supported, etc.” – Louis
  5. “Think about what positions are really needed to move forward and grow.” – Varinia
  6. “KPI labor metrics and staffing ratios.” – Kimo
  7. “I am always evaluating repetitive tasks to see what can be eliminated, thus not requiring growing the team.” – Priscilla
  8. “You need to plan to staff up in tiers so you have time to assess the efficiency of the team within certain milestones written into the plan.” – Hector
  9. “Ensure you have clearly defined and effective processes and clearly define the roles needed to deliver on business objectives and determine who’s demonstrating the capabilities to deliver the process and business objectives.” – Elizabeth
  10. “Regular 1:1s to understand current workload and also clarity on business need/future from executive leadership.” – Stephanie
  11. “Ensure team metrics/goals are established and then measure accordingly to gauge workloads/balanced approach.” – Patty
  12. “Establish KPI’s and diversify the skill sets.” – Regina
  13. “You start with ensuring you have the right training plan with milestones for those that you are hiring new to the team. I also look at the hours the team is spending to produce, if we are not seeing overtime and also do check-ins to assess burn out then you know you staffed right but if you find they are not engaged and feedback of boredom you might be overstaffed.” – Emily
  14. “Reviewing goal/KPI metrics results.” – Marlene
  15. “Need to keep it simple… Measure alignment with goals and performance. Identify what individuals are achieving. Workforce models to help determine alignment of work and resource needs – come back to this early and often.” – Sarin
  16. “Determine if the output exceeds demand by more than the amount of work completed by at least one or two people.” – Nina
  17. “Evaluate existing roles & responsibilities. Review time spent in each area. Perform a needs assessment-where are the gaps that new roles would need to fill?” – Jessica
  18. “In our field, we run fidelity checks on staff tasks to make sure they are getting to all their clients and staff for the appropriate contracted time. If people are underserving a contract we know there are 2 things at play (either we are understaffed or staff needs support in scheduling).” – Susan
  19. “Metrics and production, work volume, historical data.” – Mark
  20. “Time Study, Utilization of Existing Systems, Future HR/Company Initiatives and who/how much time it will take. Work harmony conversations, people maxed out on vacation/sick, candid conversation with team on future innovation/projects.” – Ben
  21. “Have KPIs that are reasonable but important to be able to analyze if you are properly staffed. For example, for generalists and BPs it could be based on employee population, investigations, complaints, etc… For talent acquisition, it could be based on req load and projected openings.” – Shawn
  22. “Set clear goals and expectations, reviewing weekly ensuring that the business objectives are being met.” – Janelle
  23. “Any overtime request and workload analysis.” – Nancy
  24. “I would send out a survey on a monthly basis to assess what it is that is causing staffing issues. Are people having a lot of downtime? – Susie
  25. “Team Participation.” – Gretchen
  26. “Regular one-on-one team discussions to understand the level of activity.” – Bill
  27. “Our Finance team does an analysis based on several competencies that relate to property management such as square feet, occupancy, tenant ratio, etc.” – Maryanne
  28. “Continually challenge the existing processes to evolve and stretch your team to improve what we have and come up with more ideas to be better and do more for the organization rather than keep the status quo.” – Krystle
  29. “Interview employees and supervisors, review data points – # of hour/OT being worked, exit interview data, other feedback from employees to understand workload.” – Cristina
  30. “Labor cost and efficiency of the work being done, are we sending employees home early? Can we move employees to fill gaps in other businesses?” – Margie
  31. “Productivity analytics.” – Rikki
  32. “Establish key milestones to determine actual productivity to the projected forecast.” – Cheryl
  33. “Develop metrics for the team to determine efficiency and also meet with the team manager.” – Marissa
  34. “The ratio of department headcount and revenue forecast.” – N.
  35. “Work-flow studies and careful analysis of available time off to ensure adequate staffing even when full utilization occurs.” – Laura
  36. “Use ROI models to see if the ROI matches the effort/resources put into that function. And see how many people are at the watercooler or taking on a lot of additional projects not related to their work.” – Traci
  37. “Time-sheets can give us a good idea to see how long employees are taking to complete work. Also having managers asses quality.” – Paulina
  38. “Track data on client services. Are we reaching more clients? Are we effectively connecting them to resources? Also by sending out surveys to make sure everyone is happy. Happy employees = more efficiency & productivity.” – Lizette
  39. “Ask for a two-word check-in daily from each person on the team over a long period of time. Track emotional states, not outcomes. ” – Kim
  40. “Check-in with the team members regularly to understand if they have a good understanding of their role and responsibilities. Understand where gaps may be and share each team members defined roles with team members.” – Nicolette


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