Staffing levels are a perennial challenge for employers. While it is important to hire enough people, it’s also important not to hire too many people. Increasing emphasis has been placed on selecting the right people for the right job, on competency, and other vital factors in the recruiting and hiring process. The number of people hired and assigned to particular roles can have a huge impact on productivity, morale, employee tenure, workforce stability, and profitability.
Over the past few years, during the slowed economy, employers have taken every measure possible to control payroll costs–including severely reducing staffing levels wherever possible. Consequently, remaining employees have had to pick up a lot of slack, struggling to accomplish tasks that previously had been handled by larger teams of employees.
While productivity numbers have understandably increased, making management look good, other aspects of business operations–perhaps more important–have been damaged.
When staffing is insufficient to achieve results to the satisfaction of management, customers, and the workers themselves, morale and profitability both suffer.
Customers have suffered over the past few years, sometimes tolerating poor service, sometimes complaining to no avail, and sometimes taking their business elsewhere. As economic and consumer confidence conditions improve, customers will be less tolerant. They’ll expect, no–demand, to be served. Employers must listen, adjust staffing to meet requirements, or suffer the consequences.
How are your staffing levels? Do you have enough positions, when fully staffed, to serve customers, fellow employees, and suppliers at the desired levels?
Now is the time to evaluate how many people you should employ and where they should be assigned. Don’t overlook the opportunity to cross-train people so they can fulfill the responsibilities of several positions.
Consider your needs, and then plan your staffing for today’s conditions. With that task complete, explore the potential impact of our growing economy on your business. What are the implications? What staffing plans should you make now in anticipation of a probable increase in business (demand)?