6 Unbeatable Ways To Create A Weekly Work Plan For Your Team

Creating a weekly work plan for your team can feel a little bit like playing a game of Tetris, especially in a hybrid environment. 

“Leaders have a tremendous responsibility when it comes to managing their team’s weekly workload,” says Angelie Kapoor, an award-winning professional career and leadership coach and the founder of Oversight Global, LLC. As she puts it, a strong weekly team schedule is “the backbone of any successful business.” 

To help you reach your goals and maximize efficiency without burning out your people, here are a few critical steps to follow when creating your team’s weekly work plan

1. Balance out different priorities 

The first order of business is figuring out how to juggle different priorities, from group discussions to one-on-ones. You want your weekly schedule to be balanced. Kapoor recommends carving out specific blocks of time that are dedicated solely to focused individual work or group tasks such as brainstorms or team-building activities. Collaboration is great, of course, but you want team members to have enough time to make progress on their individual deliverables as well. 

Allocate time for weekly one-on-one meetings with all of your reports, too. “These sessions help build relationships, trust, communication, and collaboration within the team – all critical components of successful remote work,” says Kapoor. 

When mapping out these different time constraints and priorities, remember that respecting your team’s personal time is crucial. “As important as the job is, it can’t become so consuming that it takes away from your employees’ family commitments, leisure activities or restful sleep. A successful leader only assigns tasks within reasonable working hours and allows enough personal time for teams to recharge before another week of productivity begins,” adds Kapoor. 

2. Assign tasks based on strengths 

The next step is distributing work based on your team goals and priorities. Smart workload management means assigning tasks based on individual strengths. When it comes to projects, Kapoor recommends pairing up people with different abilities who complement each other’s strengths and areas of interest: “This encourages collaborative problem-solving and better communication among the group while giving everyone an opportunity to showcase what they do best.” 

Taking the time to know each and every team contributor is important because it allows you to understand the unique interests and skills that make up your team. Armed with this understanding, you can put together a much more impactful weekly work plan because you’ll have people working in their zone of genius. 

3. Communicate expectations early 

Now that priorities are baked into your weekly plan and assigned to the right people, you’ll want to communicate expectations early. “Keep everyone informed about deadlines and expectations upfront so there’s no confusion later on what needs doing when,” says Kapoor. “Having clear communication channels minimizes stress for both workers and managers by setting realistic goals right off the bat, with sufficient lead time to complete projects within timeline target dates.” 

Also, break down big tasks into smaller chunks so that people know what is expected of them at any given moment during the day/week. This will help you manage your team’s workload more effectively and ensure they keep up with all the tasks.

4. Always leave room for flexibility 

You can plan all you want, but life happens. Leave room for flexibility in your weekly work schedule. There will be unexpected situations and emergencies. “Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to adjust accordingly due to staff availability or unusual circumstances,” says Kapoor. 

Wondering how to plan for the unexpected? Don’t overload your team’s calendar with meetings, for starters. And factor in transition times – leaving breathing room between tasks and meetings is key.  

This approach prevents micromanaging and fosters a healthier work environment. “Giving flexibility creates an air of appreciation and shows trust in your team members,” says Kapoor. 

5. Don’t overload people with work 

On that note, be realistic about human capacity, adds Kapoor: “When estimating how many tasks your team can complete in a week, be sure to take individual workloads into consideration. It’s easy to overestimate what people can do in a certain time frame, leading to burnout and inefficient workflows down the line.” 

Too much work and pressure not only lead to fatigue, but it also can kill employee engagement and morale. “Instead, try delegating small pieces across multiple people so the responsibility is spread out evenly amongst group members and not just one individual is carrying the load alone,” she says. 

6. Check-in and adapt in real-time 

The last step of creating a successful weekly schedule for your team is conducting regular check-ins. Don’t be afraid to review your progress and adjust your schedule in real time. 

“To keep up with ever-evolving deadlines and requirements, as well as changes in scope, regularly scheduled check-ins should also be included within daily schedules – this will allow teams more visibility over each other’s progress while also providing an opportunity to fine-tune plans under changing circumstances,” says Kapoor.