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How to Navigate A Short Staffed Team

February 16, 2022
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How to Navigate A Short Staffed Team

Computers have changed how we do work. They’ve increased our communication, modernized distribution, and allowed us to more easily identify and weed out inefficiencies.

Despite this tidal shift, it’s still people that get work done. At the heart of every great company is responsible, considerate staffing practices. This means that your business is bound to run into challenges when your team is short-staffed. 

In a perfect world, all companies would have optimal staffing levels that support them in maximizing profits with ultimate efficiency. Unfortunately, the current labor shortage has made an understaffed team a familiar issue for many businesses.

As experts in managed labor solutions, we’ve rounded up our top tips for coping with a short-staffed team.

List and Prioritize

Overwhelming. Suffocating. That’s what it feels like when an understaffed team faces dozens of tasks and little time to complete them.

During these trying moments, the key is to remain calm and take a step back from whatever you’re working on. View the day ahead with a different perspective — a big-picture mindset. 

Grab a pen and paper and organize your team’s tasks by matters of urgency with a color-coded or numbering system, whichever works for you.

Those that are most urgent are pushed to the top. Those that are less urgent can remain at the bottom. Assign each task to a specific employee or group and let them know they’re responsible for completing it by a specific deadline.

While it’s counterintuitive, this time to step back from work mode is invaluable. A properly organized schedule allows even an under-staffed team to approach each task with true focus rather than feeling overwhelmed by the dozens that are yet to be completed.

Gradually, your team can complete each task with increased calmness and efficiency rather than in a chaotic, breathless scramble.

When you have a moment, ask your employees which tasks they enjoy the most and try to tailor each employee’s schedule accordingly. They’re much less likely to become burnt out if they genuinely like what they’re doing.

Incentivize and Improve

If your team is consistently short-staffed and presents high turnover rates, it may point to a suboptimal working environment.

To discover ways to better improve your workplace and incentivize team members, have frank discussions with your current workers. Approach these conversations with an open mind. 

How can you make your working experience more attractive and competitive with other firms in the industry? Could you offer more flexibility? Better hours? What unique benefits can you offer?

While it’s normal to become defensive when considering these conversations, remember that no workplace is perfect. There’s always something employers (and employees) can do to make their experience more satisfactory.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as remembering to let your employees know that you appreciate their effort and value their time.

After all, happier employees are more productive employees. Not only will they help you accomplish more tasks in the course of a workday, but they’re also more likely to stay long-term, growing alongside your business.

Reach out for Help

At the end of the day, you need to be able to prioritize your business and your customers. The only way to do that properly is to have the talent required to get the job done.

When their team is short-staffed, many firms turn to temp agencies. After all, they provide workers without the lengthy onboarding process of a long-term hire. Sounds pretty good, right?

Well, there’s a much better option out there — managed labor solutions provided by firms like LACOSTA.

Compared to temp agencies, LACOSTA can reduce your “all-in” labor costs by up to 30%, providing:

  • Higher plant output
  • Increased productivity
  • Additional cost savings through process efficiencies.

How do we do it? Through a simple promise of reliability.

Temp agencies often hire fifteen to twenty workers when you really only need ten. They do this because they know a large percentage of their workers won’t actually show up. 

Unfortunately, if more workers show up than required, your business gets the short end of the stick. The law requires that you pay these surplus workers for at least four hours of work whether you need them or not.

When you hire ten workers through LACOSTA, you’ll receive ten workers. Not only will they be punctual and reliable, but they will be skilled and highly motivated to get the job done. Because our employees are trained for your specific site and the job at hand, they’re also less likely to become injured and put your company at risk for liability. 

While temp agencies often have turnover rates of around 300%, we keep our turnover rates low through onsite supervision, superior selection and training, and competitive benefits.

LACOSTA’ s managed labor solutions also provide optimal staffing levels, especially because we flex up and down with your production schedule. Ending labor shortages also helps ensure maximum production output, often 25% higher than today – freeing you up to achieve more plant KPIs and your business to exceed its goals.

Hire Better with LACOSTA

LACOSTA has been providing top-notch managed staffing solutions for thirty years across a number of industries. Our unique model enables us to anticipate and adapt to your needs without losing focus on proper safety and training for the task at hand. 

Keep your business growing and thriving by reaching out today. While you’re at it, browse our blog for more tips and best practices to improve your business.

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