Staff shortage forces your staff to undertake more responsibilities. An overworked staff is more likely to make mistakes and can negatively affect the operations of an organization. No manager enjoys being short on employees, but with the right management skills, it is possible to see a company through such a scenario.
Below are some guidelines on how you can handle staff shortage effectively-
Your employees are the most important part of your organization, and it is important to let them know when the company is facing difficult times such a staff shortage. Doing so will make them feel valued and this will encourage them to contribute more.
Take a good look at your employee turnover ratio and what it is costing the organization. With a staff shortage, you cannot afford to ignore a high turnover. Does your company offer clear job descriptions? Are your employees provided with opportunities to grow in terms of talent and pay? Do you train often? All of these are questions you should be asking yourself to discover the causes of your high employee turnover ratio.
Talking to your employees about their job challenges will also give you an idea on the possible causes of a high employee turnover and will also give you a better perspective on how you can encourage your employees to stick to the company.
Asses your current staff to ensure they are in the right positions. If they are not, reassign them to jobs that are compatible with their skills and qualifications. Using a time log template, time logging software, and other time log scheduling tools will help you organize your remaining employees and to also to identify the departments that have been affected most by the employee shortages.
If the company can afford it, give out raises to motivate the remaining workforce. If raises and bonuses are not an option, look for inexpensive ways to motivate them such as holding an office party or hosting a company outing. Compensation and other employee benefits are a great way to keep your workforce motivated.
If you still practice the old command-control management style, start allowing your employees to take the lead. Look for ways to bring fun and comfort into the work environment. Everyone likes to have fun and your clients will certainly enjoy interacting with an encouraged staff.
For example, make sure your employees have enough room to work and breathe and that the temperatures are neither too cold nor too hot. You can also have a new ambience created through lighting tricks such as having a lot of natural light and fresh air coming into your establishment. You may also bring in more relaxing furniture so that they don't feel so uncomfortable at their desks.
Consider hiring more employees if the company can afford to hire. Seek out candidates who demonstrate an aptitude to learn specific roles or skills and who are comfortable within the organization's culture. After choosing the candidates, use an internal training program to equip them with the skills they need to perform the job well.
Don't forget to show appreciation. A simple "thank you" will keep an employee happy and can be more motivating that a bonus.