Being a manager requires being able to manage your own workload as well as overseeing your employees. In other words, you carry responsibilities from your bosses, as well as handle the responsibilities of taking care of the employees beneath you, and managing the employees and the workload. In many regards, the manager position is the most difficult one in the organisation.

Unfortunately, as a manager, you’re frequently inundated with work coming from all angles. It definitely takes some finesse and skills to be able to manage your employees while handling a heavy workload at the same time. There are some tools and techniques that come in handy. Here are some ideas on how to manage your employees when you’re drowning in workload.

1. Utilise work planner software

Work planner software allows you to set project tasks and see what everyone is doing without having to personally check in with each employee individually. The convenience and functionality of a quality work planner software will help to save you time, while actually improving the oversight of employees in your purview.

When choosing the software, make sure it has all the features that you need. It should have notification features so that employees and you are automatically notified whenever a project stage is added, moved or completed, as well as when new resources are assigned to a project.

It should have a way to effortlessly add projects and resources, and it should have a way for employees to view and manage their own workflow process without having to involve you in every detail.

2. Connect incentives with goal setting

One huge problem with managing employees when you are drowning in your own workload is making sure they meet goals on time. Setting goals is one thing, but as a manager, you need to make sure that completion deadlines are met.

One great way to ensure that goals are met is to connect incentives with each step toward the goal. That will set off a trigger that will alert you when the employee is progressing toward the final goal as they should be. Employees will then be proactive about letting you know how the project is coming along when they have something to gain after they complete each step along the way.

3. Set smaller goals

As a manager, it’s often up to you to make sure that your bosses are satisfied with larger, finalised goals. Those larger goals can be excessively challenging for your employees, however. Employees with long-term, large goals may feel overwhelmed.

They may feel like they don’t know where to even start on achieving such goals. With a situation like that, you may start to feel like your employees need even more managing, right at a time when you already feel strapped for time.

The solution here is to break the larger goal down into smaller goals. Sometimes called “baby-stepping,” this method of goal setting allows you to have the end goal in sight, while only doling out smaller goals to employees.

When employees have smaller, more manageable goals, they will know right away how to go about achieving those smaller goals, without needing more input or oversight from you. With a little planning, you’ll already have the next small goal ready for the employee to tackle next.

4. Delegate oversight

This last technique is sometimes called “overlapping.” It’s a technique of delegating oversight that give you, the manager, the ability to free yourself from the oversight duties that end up eating up so much of your time.

The way to delegate oversight is to plan project goals in overlapping stages. So, a project development stage isn’t ended until the next stage begins. The last step in that stage doesn’t end until the next one starts, and so on.

What ends up happening is that the employees responsible for implementing the second stage oversee the completion of the first stage, since their work can’t begin until the first stage is completed. In this way, employees have oversight over one another.

Think of it as an overlapping relay race to the end, where the larger project is completed and you, the manager can then review all the stages as a whole instead of being asked to review a multitude of steps individually.

These four tips for managing your employees will likely prove to be a game changer. Instead of feeling overworked and stressed out, these tips allow you to step back and see the big picture, no matter how many projects and resources you have to manage.