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Old 05-03-2021, 05:28 PM   #1
helloiamjim
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Default Not enough to do

I'm a manager of a team that appears to not have enough to do, and I can't think of any projects for them, which causes a lot of anxiety for me because I don't want to get fired, and I don't want to fire any of them.

I meet with each person on a regular basis to talk about their projects. They all are working on a few things but not enough to keep them busy 40 hours a week. And when they're supposed to send me their status at the end of the week, some of them don't even respond.

I've stressed the importance of reporting on what they're doing because managers above me have access to the information. I don't think they're purposefully ignoring my request. I think it's simply that they don't have enough work.

My manager and his manager haven't noticed or they haven't spoken to me about it. I don't want them to suddenly find out and wonder why I haven't talked to them about it. And I don't want anyone to get fired.

I am able to delegate a little, but much of my work must be done by one person for continuity's sake. As a simple example, if I make a change in one file, I must know which other files need to be updated in the same way. And when I say "files", I mean A LOT of files.

What can I do? I don't want to talk to HR for ideas because I don't think our conversation would be confidential.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:21 AM   #2
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Are you all working remotely

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Old 05-04-2021, 11:07 AM   #3
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I am sorry but if people donít have enough to do, they need to be laid off. I know it sounds cruel but they shouldnít be getting paid if they donít have work to do. I never had a day in my life with not enough to do and canít even imagine. Sounds like a waste of time and resources
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Not enough to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by helloiamjim View Post
I'm a manager of a team that appears to not have enough to do, and I can't think of any projects for them, which causes a lot of anxiety for me because I don't want to get fired, and I don't want to fire any of them.

I meet with each person on a regular basis to talk about their projects. They all are working on a few things but not enough to keep them busy 40 hours a week. And when they're supposed to send me their status at the end of the week, some of them don't even respond.

I've stressed the importance of reporting on what they're doing because managers above me have access to the information. I don't think they're purposefully ignoring my request. I think it's simply that they don't have enough work.

My manager and his manager haven't noticed or they haven't spoken to me about it. I don't want them to suddenly find out and wonder why I haven't talked to them about it. And I don't want anyone to get fired.

I am able to delegate a little, but much of my work must be done by one person for continuity's sake. As a simple example, if I make a change in one file, I must know which other files need to be updated in the same way. And when I say "files", I mean A LOT of files.

What can I do? I don't want to talk to HR for ideas because I don't think our conversation would be confidential.
This is a perfect time to find some training for your team to do to prepare them for future projects. Can you assign some training modules?

Can you find clean-up or maintenance work for them to do with files or past projects?

Additionally, I know the problem you are having in delegating. Can you take time to write an SOP for updating all these files then train your team on how to do it, so they can take some of it off your plate? As a manager this is a necessary thing you must do. You have to learn to delegate these kinds of tasks.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Not enough to do

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Originally Posted by leomama View Post
Are you all working remotely
Yes, most of my company works remotely.
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:28 PM   #6
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I am sorry but if people donít have enough to do, they need to be laid off. I know it sounds cruel but they shouldnít be getting paid if they donít have work to do. I never had a day in my life with not enough to do and canít even imagine. Sounds like a waste of time and resources
I agree but I'd rather find work for them.
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:30 PM   #7
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This is a perfect time to find some training for your team to do to prepare them for future projects. Can you assign some training modules?

Can you find clean-up or maintenance work for them to do with files or past projects?

Additionally, I know the problem you are having in delegating. Can you take time to write an SOP for updating all these files then train your team on how to do it, so they can take some of it off your plate? As a manager this is a necessary thing you must do. You have to learn to delegate these kinds of tasks.
Good ideas, seesaw. I thought about clean up work but our stuff is already really clean. Delegating is definitely a skill I want to learn to do better.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:05 PM   #8
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I agree but I'd rather find work for them.
I get it.

But if you have to invent work for them, it means thereís not enough real work for them: too many employees and not enough load. Of course you can assign them to iron handkerchiefs but if there is no real job task, then whatís the point

What kind of job is it? I know very many people work strictly remotely, they surely donít have the issue of not enough work, quite the opposite. I might admit to higher ups at this point that my staff doesnít have enough work to do
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:44 PM   #9
helloiamjim
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I get it.

But if you have to invent work for them, it means thereís not enough real work for them: too many employees and not enough load. Of course you can assign them to iron handkerchiefs but if there is no real job task, then whatís the point

What kind of job is it? I know very many people work strictly remotely, they surely donít have the issue of not enough work, quite the opposite. I might admit to higher ups at this point that my staff doesnít have enough work to do
We're insurance billers. Scary thought to talk to my manager about this. But if I don't, it's ultimately my *** on the line.
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:16 AM   #10
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We're insurance billers. Scary thought to talk to my manager about this. But if I don't, it's ultimately my *** on the line.
Thatís just it. I know it doesnít feel good but if itís your job on the line then is it worth it to cover for them. It might not be their fault thereís not enough work but itís not yours either.
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