Managing the Workload When You’re Short-Staffed

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Sometimes you just have to make it through a few days or weeks because employees are sick or on vacation. Other times, you’re short team members for a longer time frame, and it causes issues.

Maybe one of your top producers gets put on bed rest, followed by a long maternity leave, or you lost a highly trained employee and you’re unable to find a replacement. There are several steps you can take to manage the workload so you can still provide the same goods and services.

Identify Essentials

When you have more tasks to complete than employees to complete them and you’re looking at a long-term situation, something has to give. Your staff can put in extra hours for a time, but if they’re overworked for months, you’ll have more problems. They’ll burn out and resent you, the quality of what you offer will suffer and you probably still won’t get everything done.

Identify critical tasks and ones you can temporarily put on the back burner. For each employee doing double duty, try and take something off their list so they have less to juggle.

Talk With Your Team

Employees and team members will be more motivated if they know their contribution is meaningful. Have a frank conversation about the fact that you’re short-staffed. Let them know what you’re going to do about the situation and what, specifically you need from them.

Then, ask for each member’s help in sharing the load. Emphasize teamwork and let them know how important each person’s effort is to reaching business goals.

Outsource and Automate

Put technology to work to shorten the list of tasks for which your staff is responsible. Consider using a virtual phone assistant to manage calls and other interactions. Use productivity tools like Trello or Monday to streamline workflows and collaborate on projects.

If there are small projects you can outsource, technology helps there too. Find a freelancer places like Fiverr or Upwork to fill in for that missing staff member one small project at a time. Or, let Brelsford Personnel find the perfect temp candidate to work until your employee returns.

Be Empathetic and Appreciative

When you ask your team to give extra and they do, thank them sincerely. Track successes and celebrate them with public recognition, a hand-written thank you note, a financial bonus or a meaningful gift of some kind.

Employees will get tired, stressed and frustrated if you’re short-staffed for long. Let them know you recognize you’re asking a lot, and that the job is tough.

Keep Crunch Times Brief

Almost every business has times they’re shorthanded and everyone just has to do the best they can. However, that shouldn’t be the norm. Employees will be more motivated if they know the situation is temporary.

Brelsford Personnel offers personnel-direct hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract staff to quality Texas companies. We can match your business with highly qualified candidates whether your needs are short or long term. Contact us to find out more today.

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