How to Achieve Optimal Staffing LevelsNovember 3, 2021
Unless you are the head of human resources at a major company, you probably aren’t aware of all the challenges that go into hiring, staffing, and general employee management. It’s an enormous task with many moving parts to consider, but a business can become as efficient and optimized as possible with the right staffing model.
Most of us are only involved in the hiring part of the process, either as someone looking to be hired or someone looking to hire. Even then, we only really get a brief glimpse of the process before we move on to other aspects of our jobs. On the other hand, when it comes to understanding the nuances of staffing and how it impacts a business, many of us would be lost entirely.
Of course, we’re not saying you need to have an intimate understanding of everything that goes into managing staff, but you’d be surprised at how insightful the knowledge is! By understanding what goes into staffing, you can better understand how hiring (and firing) decisions are made, what areas of your business might need the most help, and even how to balance business costs with productivity.
Information like this is even more critical when considering the current “situation” the US workforce is experiencing. Around this time last year, most businesses predicted a triumphant return to work as the pandemic seemed to be slowing down. Now, as we’ve seen firsthand, this didn’t go as smoothly as many CEOs anticipated, and instead, more than 4 million people per month have quit their former jobs.
Whether you’re on the side of people who view this movement as a brief labor shortage or on the side of people who see it as a long-overdue change in ideals, all of it can be tied back to staff management.
As a result, we wanted to go over a few of our best tips for optimizing your staffing levels! From proper employee management up and down the supply chain to an in-depth understanding of your business’s unique needs, these tips can help to determine the best staffing plan for you going forward. Though it might not solve every company’s staffing issues, it may give you the insight you’ve been looking for.
What To Focus On
Before you can even think about creating a staffing plan template, you first need to determine the types of changes that will be genuinely helpful. Often, people’s first instinct is to focus on their company’s business goals and save money by reducing “unnecessary expenses.” Undoubtedly, your business plan will be crucial to figuring out the best plan of action, but it needs to go deeper than that. Remember, this is all about reaching optimal staffing levels, not maximizing profits. Try some of the tactics below to help get yourself and your company on the right track to optimal staffing.
Under or Overstaffed?
First, examine all of the different sectors of your company, and determine how effectively each sector is functioning. Depending on the type of business, this could be measured by several different factors, but mostly, it depends on the core tasks of the job and the efficiency of the current system.
For example, you might determine that your IT department is consistently behind on computer repairs (core task). After looking closer and talking to managers in the sector, you see that the IT department is much busier than in previous years (efficiency of the system), and they are consistently working overtime. Based on these few pieces of information, you can likely see that the department is understaffed and needs more job openings.
Another good measurement of staffing levels is the turnover rate of a particular job. While some jobs will naturally have a rapid turnover rate, most jobs should have some level of stability. If you notice that a specific position within your company consistently hires new employees, figure out why!
Look at the historical data of that job to see when the turnover rates began to increase, or directly ask other members of your company what they have heard or seen in regards to that job. More often than not, it isn’t an issue with the hired employees but rather an issue with the training or management of the employee.
If you’ve followed the first two suggestions, you’ve hopefully balanced out the staff of your company’s departments and determined why some jobs struggle to keep people employed long term. This is a great few steps towards staff optimization! Next, it’s time to look ahead to future staffing to create a staffing plan.
For instance, many company’s workloads increase around the holidays, meaning that all of their employees will be working more, or more employees need to be brought on. If you have any special projects or work-intensive tasks coming up in your future, you should consider what might need to happen for those tasks to be successful.
Get Some Extra Help
If you know extra work is ahead and that your long-term employees won’t be able to fully handle it, get some outside help! When you can accurately judge an increased workload before it occurs, you can get a leg up on the labor market and plan ahead.
Say, for example, you’re a Holiday Decoration store owner, and in October, you look at your past years to see how the next few months might turn out. By looking at internal and external factors of past years, like the number of employees (internal) and particular dates and holidays (external), you can generally see what’s coming up!
In this example, you’d likely see that previous years were understaffed, and any employees you were able to hire at the last minute barely made an impact on productivity. Now, instead of being rushed and overworked when the holidays hit, you have time to prepare. To finish the example, you might now draft new job descriptions and start advertising for holiday-specific positions!
Because you were able to get ahead of the curve, you’ll have a much better shot at getting the proper staffing, training, and support your company needs, even as the workload increases!
The LACOSTA Way
Staffing is complex, and not everyone will get it right on their first attempt. That’s why LACOSTA is here to help with top-quality labor management solutions! We provide highly-skilled labor to a wide variety of industries, so if you ever find yourself in need of some extra hands, LACOSTA is one of the best choices out there.